Painting in Broad Strokes,
I think the distinction between pardoning and forgiving is a good one, given that Hero's pardon is simply the erasure of the necessary plot device that generates our conflict. Claudio and Hero's courtship, love, break-up, and reunification are all about as binary as the typical ninth grade passion -- it's on or off -- and the pathos of the cruelty runs the same arc:
1.Something terrible happens or is said.
It's a blunt set-up to be sure, (a light switch comes to mind), but there's not enough difficulty for any of it to be truly distressing or satisfying. That's why Beatrice and Benedict are in the play -- Shakespeare's two prickly halves of witty interplay, so deft with language they're capable of believing the sound of their own voice and then actualizing it in reality. They're there to be difficult with each other and themselves.
Some Richard Research
14 hours ago