Honorable, Passionate, Gullible
Claudio is a handsome young man who is a soldier and is under the command of Don Pedro. Claudio is motivated by his one true love, Hero. However, his motivations are altered when he assumes that Hero had cheated on him. "...She knows the heat of a luxurious bed. Her blush is guiltiness, not modesty. "Claudio is telling Hero's dad, Leonato, that he doesn't want to marry Hero anymore since she "knows the heat of a luxurious bed." Sleeping with someone before you were married was a terrible crime to commit and made you dirty, therefore no one would want to marry you. This is what Claudio thought that Hero did so that's why he publicly shamed her in front of the whole town.
Leonato: "A victory is twice itself when the achiever brings home full numbers. I find here that Don Pedro hath bestowed much honor on a young Florentine called Claudio."
Messenger: "...he hath borne himself beyond the promise of his age, doing in the figure of a lamb the feats of a lion."
This is what people think of him. Leonato said that Don Pedro, the prince, has bestowed much honor on him, showing that Don Pedro has a lot of faith and respects Claudio. Also, the messenger says he is very handsome and has a soft face, yet when he fights in war, he is like the mighty lion. As you can tell, everyone really respects Claudio, therefore when he shames Hero, no one doubts him because he is so well liked.
Claudio: "...She knows the heat of a luxurious bed. Her blush is guiltiness, not modesty." This is when Claudio tells the entire town that Hero is a slut and that she is unclean. When he says this, no one goes against him since he is so well liked and respected, everyone expects him to tell the truth. As you can tell, since he is so kind to everyone, they all really respect him.
Impact on Plot and Theme
The theme of the play is love. Claudio adds to this by loving the young Hero. Claudio is defiantly a consummate lover, because he likes it when there is intimacy, passion, and commitment in a relationship. This is the kind of relationship him and Hero are running. Claudio loves Hero very much and is this is why he is so devastated when he sees her from her window. Claudio enjoys eros and agape sort of love. He is looking for romance but it has to last. This is what he has found in Hero and that is why he loves her so much.