Barbara A. Mowat Editor. Paul Werstine Editor. Robert Jackson Editor. Gail Kern Paster Contributor. Get A Copy. Paperback , Folger Shakespeare Library Edition , pages. Published by Simon Schuster first published More Details Original Title. Messina, Sicily Italy Sicily Italy. Other Editions Friend Reviews.
To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Much Ado About Nothing , please sign up. Any tips for understanding the language of the text? Caroline I think perhaps it would help to read along to an acted out version. Is this book something I can enjoy as a teen? Rivalic Just because it's Shakespeare doesn't mean all the plays will have the same difficulty. For example my favorite play of his is Macbeth which is more …more Just because it's Shakespeare doesn't mean all the plays will have the same difficulty.
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For example my favorite play of his is Macbeth which is more difficult for a teenager to follow. Much Ado is easy to follow with a basic plot, and shorter monologues that sometimes lose us half way through. See 2 questions about Much Ado About Nothing…. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. May 04, Madeline rated it it was amazing Shelves: shakespeare , all-time-favorites. Much Ado About Nothing, abridged.
HERO: We should get married! Love is for stupid losers who are stupid. How do we possibly benefit from that? Now go away or I shall taunt you a second time! Your woman totally cheated on you. I saw, I was there. HERO: Pysche! I think I love you, and stuff. Now off to kill Prince John! View all 63 comments. May 12, Bill Kerwin rated it really liked it Shelves: 16thth-c-brit , tudor-drama.
I don't think Much Ado ranks with Shakespeare's very best for three reasons: 1 the plot is weak, particularly the deception that moves things along during the first act why does Don Pedro choose to woo by proxy en masque? What is to be gained by it except delay and confusion? On the other hand, whenever Beatrice and Benedict are sparri I don't think Much Ado ranks with Shakespeare's very best for three reasons: 1 the plot is weak, particularly the deception that moves things along during the first act why does Don Pedro choose to woo by proxy en masque?
On the other hand, whenever Beatrice and Benedict are sparring--which is much of the play-- Much Ado is equal to anything Shakespeare had written up to this point. At last he has learned how to take the euphuistic preciousness of Love's Labor's Lost 's dialogue, preserve all its wit and courtly delicacy and combine it in casual, idiomatic speech full of character, naturalness and humor. Later in the play, when the plot turns serious and Beatrice demands of Benedick Claudio's death, both she and Benedick embark on a journey toward growing wisdom and deeper love that makes the ending of the play very moving as well as formally complete.
View all 17 comments. Jul 19, Kelly rated it it was amazing Shelves: will-shakespeare , favorites , drama. Let's face it, there aren't too many of Shakespeare's females who kick ass. Yes, we all can name the four or five that don't quite suck Kat, Portia, Viola, Emilia, etc but good strong feminine characters were not, it seems, the bard's strong suit. So as you wade through the whiny, conniving, helpless throngs of man worshipping wenches that appear in nearly all Shakespeare plays, it can be tempting to just give up looking for redemption.
But alas, it is this lack of strong feminine voice that m Let's face it, there aren't too many of Shakespeare's females who kick ass. But alas, it is this lack of strong feminine voice that makes the discovery of a truly awesome character like Much Ado About Nothing 's Beatrice that much more thrilling. Beatrice is without a doubt my favorite of all Shakespeare's women. She is smart, sardonic, and fierce. And while many chide her for her decision to marry, a decision that some argue nullifies any feminist credit she may have accumulated throughout the play, I take issue with the idea that a woman must choose between love and identity.
How sad to think that to be a strong woman, one must live her life utterly alone so as not to let a man infringe on her sense of self. Married or not, Beatrice definitely meets my requirements for a kick ass female! View all 6 comments. This is, in all honesty, the play that got me into Shakespeare. I am, however, still particularly obnoxious about this specific play. It's a line that is powerful because it feels out of place : it is shockingly violent, impossible not to deliver with a snarl — quite literally — and perhaps most importantly, it is an uncriticized line said by a woman in a play written in Everything Beatrice says in this play Fucks.
Beatrice invented feminism and made me the dyke I am today. At one point Beatrice accuses Benedick of having lost four of his five brain cells which, hilariously, means that Shakespeare was the original creator of the last brain cell meme. The plotline of this play is just Beatrice roasting everyone around her especially Benedick and it's wonderful. Must movies be good is it not enough to see Beatrice roasting everyone in the dark, huge. The other plotline of this play is that misogyny is awful and ruins your life. I'm not kidding. From this one Much Ado About Nothing analysis I think about a lot : Don John is not the true villain of this play; he is merely an agent.
This play begins and ends with the men assuming their wives are about to sleep around on them. Leonato jokes about his own wife doing so; Claudio allows this assumption to cloud his judgement; even Benedick jokes to this effect. So as soon as any implication of Hero's infidelity is made, rather than ask or confront or find alibis, Claudio assumes the worst: that she has slept with another man the night before their wedding. The captain of the guard agrees with him; her father, when he hears this, goes along with it as well.
Benedick is the only male character in the play, including Hero's literal father, who defends Hero in any way from the false accusations. The romantic lead to Beatrice, a character who we have earlier seen making misogyny-tinged jokes to get a rise out of her, is the only man who believes a woman. But from that same analysis And Benedick agrees. Benedick's relevance as a romantic hero is proven narratively by the fact that he believes Hero when she says she hasn't been unfaithful, and believes Beatrice.
He sees the wrong that has been done to the women around him and he steps away from it. So, can we talk about tenderness? It's time to talk about tenderness. And Benedick, love on; I will requite thee, This line, from Beatrice's not-quite soliloquy after hearing Benedick is in love with her, is so fucking gorgeous and I think about it all the time and I can't even quite explain why, but the notion of telling someone to keep loving you because you plan to requite it immediately? I do love nothing in the world so well as you. Is not that strange? By this hand, I love thee. I will live in thy heart, die in thy lap, and be buried in thy eyes—and moreover, I will go with thee to thy uncle's.
Romeo and Juliet could never. YES, my love for this play is partly to do with my deep nostalgia.
No, I do not care. And yes, the ending to the Claudio storyline is expected — Winter's Tale and All's Well That End's Well say hi, they want their plots back — but I think this play genuinely had something very important to say, something that is arguably still relevant. And it's also so wonderfully romantic. Every time I think about this play I kind of want to cry. This show is absolutely wonderful at all times but I think this particular version is fairly accessible even to those with no Shakespeare knowledge. This is my all-time favorite play and I care so much.
I'm so glad it's still as good as I remembered. View all 16 comments. Much Ado about Nothing , written in , interweaves the story of two couples. The more interesting and definitely more amusing one is Benedick and Beatrice, who apparently have a rocky romance in their past history. But now they devote all of their energy in their interactions to insulting each other as wittily as possible, each trying to one-up the other.
Beatrice wins most of the time. The other romance is between Claudio, a count and military friend of Benedick's, and Beatrice's cousin Hero, a Much Ado about Nothing , written in , interweaves the story of two couples. The other romance is between Claudio, a count and military friend of Benedick's, and Beatrice's cousin Hero, a wealthy heiress. Claudio comes home from war, takes a look at Hero and all of her huge It's an odd thing, but then most of Hero's and Claudio's relationship plays out in an oddly public manner.
So when Don Pedro's jealous and mean-spirited brother, Don John, decides to torpedo their romance, just because, it goes south in an equally public way. But meanwhile all of Beatrice and Benedick's friends have decided that the war of wits between them is hiding deeper feelings, and in one of the funnier plot developments, decide to trick both of them into thinking the other loves them but will never speak of it because they're too hard-hearted.
When things go horribly off the rails between Hero and Claudio, Benedick has a choice to make: his old world of his male buddies or his newly discovered love for Beatrice. But as is typical of Shakespeare, about half of it went over my head, except where I took the time to read the explanatory footnotes in my Riverside Shakespeare volume one of those books that I would want on my hypothetical desert island if I were stuck there alone for years.
Dogberry the constable, who inadvertently discovers the plot against Hero but doesn't quite know what to do about it, is one of the highlights, with his constant use of the wrong-but-almost-right word, delightfully and obliviously butchering the English language.
Playing in Fort Collins
Deception is a running theme: Don John's deception of Claudio and Don Pedro, everyone's deception of Benedick and Beatrice, Hero's father's deception of Claudio and Don Pedro at the end, even Benedick and Beatrice hiding their true feelings. View all 9 comments. Dec 20, Manny rated it it was ok Shelves: too-sexy-for-maiden-aunts , why-not-call-it-poetry , life-is-shakespeare. I am probably the last person in the whole history of the world to get it, but, just in case there's someone else left, it occurred to me yesterday that the title of this play had to be a rude pun.
Five minutes on Google was enough to confirm my suspicions. From this page : In Shakespeare's time "nothing" was a euphemism for a woman's naughty bits. This gave the title three different yet equally appropriate meanings, as the main conflict over the play revolves around the false implication of Hero I am probably the last person in the whole history of the world to get it, but, just in case there's someone else left, it occurred to me yesterday that the title of this play had to be a rude pun.
This gave the title three different yet equally appropriate meanings, as the main conflict over the play revolves around the false implication of Hero losing her virginity to another man while engaged to Claudio. The Terry Pratchett quote at the top is also rather fine: Mind you, the Elizabethans had so many words for the female genitals that it is quite hard to speak a sentence of modern English without inadvertently mentioning at least three of them. With the help of a good online Shakespearian dictionary, I have been carrying out some experiments, and I'm afraid he's right.
I have decided to remain mute for the rest of the morning to be on the safe side. View all 12 comments. Much ado about nothing : a comedy, William Shakespeare Much Ado About Nothing is a comedy by William Shakespeare thought to have been written in and , as Shakespeare was approaching the middle of his career. The play was included in the First Folio, published in By means of "noting" which, in Shakespeare's day, sounded similar to "nothing" as in the play's title, and which means gossip, rumour, and overhearing , Benedick and Beatrice are tricked into confessing their love for each other, and Claudio is tricked into rejecting Hero at the altar on the erroneous belief that she has been unfaithful.
At the end, Benedick and Beatrice join forces to set things right, and the others join in a dance celebrating the marriages of the two couples. Apparently reconciled, they return to the capital, Messina, as guests of the Governor, Leonato. The play's central plot shows how Don John maliciously deceives Claudio into believing that Hero has taken a lover on the eve of her marriage, causing Claudio to repudiate her publicly, at the altar. It was Mexican themed, full of dancing, gunshots, high racing emotions and many moments of farcical humour. All in all, it was a great production of an imperfect play.
The Tempest is one of the best things ever written in the English language. Similarly, Richard II is pure poetry, beautiful and powerful, but it is so unimpressive on the stage. Some are perfect stage pieces, but boring on the page. Some manage to succeed in both realms, but not many. Much Ado About Nothing is a play that is meant to be performed. Like Twelfth Night and all the comedies the real genius of the writing does not come through until it is seen in action. Everybody else involved are mere plot devices crafted by Shakespeare.
They are simply there to play off the two central characters against each other, and play each other they most certainly do. A relationship built on mutual hate sounds like an odd concept, but an apt one. Both Beatrix and Benedict have sworn never to marry, so when they finally stumble across their counterparts they are annoyed and in absolute denial about their own feelings. It leads to many brilliant comedy moments, moments the version I watched was very quick to capitalise on.
It was mischievous, witty and a very good piece of fun. The entire cast nailed it. Again, this is a play that really needs to be seen. If you find yourself in London this summer, I certainly recommend going to watch it. View all 11 comments. Sep 05, James rated it liked it Shelves: 1-fiction , 4-written-preth-century. It was an opportunity to see his brilliance in writing something different and basically Well not really nothing, but you get the drift.
It was a decent play. And I can say that because I've read over 40 of his plays. It's not like I just picked a few up and said "Eh, it's decent," not having read enough to know. It's Shakespeare of course. And scholars can argue for hours about what it all meant, who really wrote it, what was being hidden in the lines and characters.
But for me Given I tend to like very character-driven stories or complex plots, this one doesn't rank very high on my scale for what I've read. Yes, the plot is fairly low-key It's very strong in terms of language, innuendo, imagery and balance. But as far as a leisurely and enjoyable read, I didn't take a whole lot from it. Of course, all English majors should read it.
But if you want some light re-exposure to Shakespeare, I wouldn't recommend this one as a starting place. About Me For those new to me or my reviews I write A LOT. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note : All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them.
Many thanks to their original creators. In my innocence, I presumed buying Shakespeare would be a straight-forward business. As it turned out, my bookshop had multiple editions of the plays which was very impressive but left me with a dilemma: which edition to choose.
Perhaps a 'Complete Works' was the way to go, I thought. I took a large volume down from the shelf and immediately looked around for a chair. Just holding it required sitting down, it was so heavy. I couldn't imagine reading it in bed - and the bath was definitely out! The pages were very flimsy too, and the font was tiny. Poor quality print was a problem with single editions as well. I ruled out others because the introduction took up two-thirds of the book. I was getting more and more frustrated. Then I realised I was making a bigger fuss about choosing a book than I'd ever done before so I grabbed the least objectionable edition of 'Much Ado about Nothing' and headed for the cash desk.
Fortunately, it doesn't take long for the misunderstandings to be resolved and order to be restored. In that sense the play is literally much ado about nothing. Beatrice has the wittiest lines and the cleverest insights - especially about marriage and what it means for women.
Only Beatrice retains our full respect. For me, it is all about her, as if Shakespeare used the plot simply as a frame for her speeches. I couldn't get enough of them. I began to see parallels between Beatrice and Isabel Archer. Somewhat trivial parallels, you might say, but there are more. When we first meet Beatrice and Isabel, their unconventional manners set them apart immediately.
They both have a reputation for being originals. Beatrice is at her best when engaged in a battle of wits. Isabel too enjoys sparring with anyone who will engage her. We soon discover that they each have a strong sense of who they are and a radical dislike of anyone controlling their destiny. But they are not radical just for the sake of it. Isabel is not a reformer like her friend Henrietta Stackpoole, and Beatrice is not as intractable as Kate from 'The Taming of the Shrew'.
The two women give priority instead to their own intellectual development and they disdain the pursuit of romantic love. Isabel refuses a marriage proposal from Lord Warburtin, the richest man in her circle. Beatrice refuses Don Pedro, the most powerful man in Messina. When Beatrice says, 'I had rather hear my dog bark at a crow than a man swear he loves me', we can't but be reminded of Isabel who runs the other way whenever there is talk of love.
So many parallels. When I started reading this play, I had no idea I'd find such comparisons. Unfortunately, the final comparison I found is the one that sets the two heroines completely apart: their destiny, the one happy, the other tragic. The Oxford World's Classics edition I reluctantly bought turned out to be perfect. Lovely cover, quality paper, a clear font and well-spaced lines. However, there were copious notes and a very long introduction.
I mostly ignored the notes but read the introduction with pleasure once I'd finished the play. It included a history of the play's production, and engravings and photos of the various actresses who interpreted Beatrice down through the centuries. I can truly say that I'm finally reading Shakespeare for pleasure. Thank you, Henry. View all 31 comments. Apr 10, Henry Avila rated it it was amazing. His army needs it, Rest and Relaxation, the governor of that city is his good, longtime friend, Leonato.
The time, is unstated, but Aragon, ruled that island, in the 15th century. Count Claudio, who gained glory in battle, in the Prince's army, and a favorite of his royal boss, meets "Hero", lovely daughter of Leonato. No need to say they fall madly in love and are soon engaged. Claudio best friend is Benedick, another noble soldier, Hero has a cousin named Beatrice, the other two, don't love each other, quite the reverse.
The sharp tongued, with wit, Beatrice, is known for causing her suitors, to quietly go into the night, meekly, dejectedly, and afraid. The battle of words between these people Beatrice and Benedick , are electrifying, put downs, name calling, venomous insults, anything goes, they fly like trailers in a tornado. Don John hates his half- brother, Don Pedro, is jealous of his power and position, will always try to embarrass him, if he can't usurp the Prince The Prince's brother, is a petty man, and arranges with Don Pedro, Claudio, and himself, to view the apparent, infidelity of Hero, the three secretly watching below her window , at night, with the recognized Borachio, in plain sight, but is the daughter of Leonato, there?
All is ruined, the distraught Claudio , breaks the engagement at the altar, with angry accusations, Hero faints dead away. Her father Leonato and his brother Antonio, are humiliated, shamed and later on very enraged, these ancient gentlemen want revenge, family honor demands it!
But what can they do? In another strange turn of events, with the help of the Prince and a masquerade ball, Beatrice and Benedick, unknowingly dance together , soon after , start to really like each other! And the villains, Borachio and Conrade, are shortly arrested by the night watchmen of the city , overhearing them talking about some interesting secrets, information, that is vital to many people.
Brought to their leaders, Dogberry, the chief and his deputy, Verges, both speak a kind of language, that only they can understand, their words mean exactly the opposite, of what is said, Dogberry says to his men, about the criminals, "Come, take away the plaintiffs" and "Don't you suspect my office? The clownish, kindhearted, old men, have seen better days, will these friends, be able to find out the crimes of Don John, before it is too late? Shakespeare, the greatest writer who ever lived, has another superb play, one of many, in his illustrious and unequaled career View all 21 comments.
Jan 12, Ted rated it really liked it Recommends it for: Anyone who thinks Shakespeare's comedies aren't funny. Shelves: plays , elizabethan , reviews-liked. Aside from the Elizabethan words that required me to check the footnotes, it had a very modern feel to it. The play was probably written in Benedick, a young lord of Padua, is introduced as a man who disdains women, and disdains the very idea of marriage. I wonder that you will still be talking, Signior Benedick. Nobody marks you. What, my dear lady Disdain! Are you yet living? Is it possible Disdain should die while she hath such meet food to feed it as Signior Benedick?
Courtesy itself must convert to disdain if you come in her presence. Then is courtesy a turncoat. But it is certain I am loved of all ladies, only you excepted. And I would I could find in my heart that I had not a hard heart, for truly I love none. A dear happiness to women. They would else have been troubled with a pernicious suitor. I thank God and my cold blood that I am of your humor for that. I had rather hear my dog barking at a crow than a man swear he loves me. God keep your ladyship still in that mind! Well, you are a rare parrot-teacher.
The darkness at the heart of Much Ado About Nothing
A bird of my tongue is better than a beast of yours. I would my horse had the speed of your tongue, and so good a continuer. I have done. You bet. Shakespeare then adds considerable dialogue among other members of the cast, completely outside the traditional story, in which other male characters conspire to trick Benedick into thinking that Beatrice loves him; while separately, Hero and her attendants decide they will trick Beatrice into believing Benedick has fallen for her.
Even when Dogberry manages to say what he means, what he means to say is often exceeding strange. If they make you not then the better answer, you may say they are not the men you took them for. The most peaceable way for you, if you do take a thief, is to let him show himself what he is and steal out of your company.
Much Ado About Nothing - 30 September & 1 October , pm | Glasshouse Port Macquarie
Branagh also starred as Benedick. Filming was done at a villa in Tuscany. Branagh and Thompson are superb in the lead roles, Reeves gives a solid performance as the bad guy, and Michael Keaton is way over the top as the buffoon Dogberry. The language is Shakespearean throughout, with unnoticeable cuts in the dialogue and only slight elision of Elizabethan archaisms. Everything a modern audience could ask for.
The music is a wonderful plus in the production, and I found myself laughing out loud inordinately often. View all 8 comments. Nov 24, Jason rated it really liked it Shelves: , for-kindle , reviewed. And what a play it is! Because as it turns out, Claudio is merely a puss-puss who has offered no contribution whatsoever to the Space Race. Beatrice and Benedick, on the other hand, are pretty great, and this being a Shakespearean comedy, they happen to be pretty funny, too. Especially Beatrice.
A master of wordplay and sarcasm, her insults are delivered with a stinging precision and the deftness of a ninja. Halfway through the play, her comedic match is met when we are introduced to Dogberry, whose humor is a little more Yet it is nothing short of hilarious.
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This play probably has some deeper themes trying to elbow their way out—Beatrice is presumably an early model of feminism in literature and I am sure that angle could be explored more deeply—but this worked well enough for me as a breezy romantic comedy, and I look forward to seeing what Whedon does with it.
Wow, did I just call Shakespeare breezy? I am such a puss-puss! It will be a Shakespeare movie weekend! In between Red Sox games. View all 84 comments. Jun 24, Agnieszka rated it it was amazing Shelves: own-a-copy , , shakespeare , favorites , , i-saw-the-movie-too , reviewed. Not much a review as some disjointed impressions from one of my favourite Shakespeare's comedies. Much ado about nothing is a display of wit and humour, from squabbles and cutting retorts between Beatrice and Benedick to the unrepeatable, full of malapropisms and nonsenses, humor presented by the the chief of the citizen-police in Messina, Dogberry and his bumbling sidekicks.
In short: prince of Aragon, Don Pedro after defeating his half-brother Don John returns home, and surrounded by his court Not much a review as some disjointed impressions from one of my favourite Shakespeare's comedies. In short: prince of Aragon, Don Pedro after defeating his half-brother Don John returns home, and surrounded by his court and companions, including Benedick and Claudio, visits governer of Messina, Leonato to stay at his houshold.
There are some intrigues here. Since they seem not to see love even if they look at its face they apparently need a little help here. Here's the sample of Dogberry's flowery style: Marry, sir, they have committed false report; moreover, they have spoken untruths; secondarily, they are slanders; sixth and lastly, they have belied a lady; thirdly, they have verified unjust things; and, to conclude, they are lying knaves.
Also, Dogberry is a man who in his own words would not hang a dog So, now you know with whom you have an honour. This is a comedy though there was only one step from falling into tragedy. If only diabolic plan of prince's brother would have scored then Hero maliciously accused and spurned by her soon-to-be-husband Claudio, could easily be another from wide range of Shakespearean hapless heroines.
My attention is focused on other pair, Lady Disdain and Signiore Mountanto like they call themselves. Or just Beatrice and Benedick. They are older and more sophisticated than Hero and Claudio, more watchful and guarded thus less prone to admit they are head over heels in love. They seem to have a history between them, definitely have a feeling for themselves but constantly are deceiving themselves in believing not such a thing is even possible. I liked the chemistry between them, I liked the banter, the bickering. Even their love vows have un undertone of their previous verbal skirmishes.
Benedick: A miracle! Come, I will have thee; but, by this light, I take thee for pity. Beatrice: I would not deny you; but, by this good day, I yield upon great persuasion; and partly to save your life, for I was told you were in a consumption. This production, including a minute intermission, runs approximately 2 hours, 40 minutes pm — pm. Please be sure to review your performance dates and seat locations before finalizing your order below. Ready to book more dates? Back to Calendar. Much Ado About Nothing.
Can I read the play before I arrive? Is this show appropriate for my children? How can I learn more about the play? How long is the show? Don Pedro's army returns from the war, photo …. Tina Chilip as Beatrice, photo by Richard Ter…. Charlie Semine as Benedick, photo by Richard …. Benedick listens in as Claudio Jose Gamo , D…. Dogberry Kurt Rhoads, center and his Watch ….
Reveling at Leonato's, photo by Richard Termi….