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Nothing in Much Ado About Nothing - Essay Example

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Instructor name Date Nothing in Much Ado About Nothing Students forced to study William Shakespeare typically go into their studies with the impression that his works are a serious subject that requires hours of intensely difficult study…
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Nothing in Much Ado About Nothing

Download file to see previous pages... This is why his plays have made it into college classrooms and their popularity has endured through the centuries. He was a master at making almost universal commentaries about human organization and behavior in a way that also served to entertain. It's important to remember, though, that the original context for Shakespeare’s plays was the same context in which plays are performed today. They were originally intended to provide a simple evening's worth of entertainment for the price of a ticket with the hope that the audience would continue to come back for more. “Shakespeare’s plays were written to be performed to an audience from different social classes and of varying levels of intellect. Thus they contain down-to-earth characters who appeal to the working classes, side-by-side with complexities of plot which would satisfy the appetites of the aristocrats among the audience” (Geraghty). One of his more popular romantic comedies is the play Much Ado About Nothing in which the word 'nothing' takes on numerous meanings and has an effect on characters actions throughout the play. The play takes place at the home of Leonato, a nobleman of Messina and centers around the stories of two young couples. The female half of these couples are residents of Leonato's house, his daughter Hero and his niece Beatrice. The action begins with the expected arrival of the prince Don Pedro and his party including the male halves of these romantic couples. Claudio is a young nobleman and Benedick is a clever man who has proven himself valuable. An unwelcome part of the crowd is Don John, Don Pedro's illegitimate brother who expresses all the typical bitterness and resentment expressed in characters placed in this life role. Benedick and Beatrice are already acquainted with each other and quickly resume their years long banter back and forth. As they compete with each other over which one can get the most words in, Claudio and Hero are quietly falling in love with each other. They decide to marry with the wedding planned in a week. To help pass the time until the wedding day, Hero and Claudio agree with the others to play a game on Beatrice and Benedick designed to force them to finally admit their love for each other. The trick works, but it isn't the only one in the works. Don John, jealous and anxious to cause trouble, convinces one of his men to make love to Hero's maid Margaret at Hero's window one night. As Borachio is busy doing this, Don John brings Don Pedro and Claudio to the garden outside Hero's window where they believe they are seeing Hero being unfaithful to her betrothed. Naturally filled with rage, Claudio calls off the wedding, but does so in a very humiliating way at the ceremony in front of the gathering. The family, finally convinced she might be telling the truth that it wasn't her, decide to pretend she died of her shock and grief in the hope that the truth would come out. It nearly comes to a fight between Claudio and almost everyone else until the night watchman hears Borachio talking about what he'd done. Claudio, in his grief and to amend for his error, agrees to marry another one of Hero's cousins. It isn't until they are before the altar that Claudio finally realizes the veiled woman standing with him is really Hero. The play ends with Beatrice and Benedick getting married and everyone joining in a celebratory dance. One of the major motifs that runs through this play, giving it ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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