~Read Pdf ♬ Much Ado About Nothing ♎ In Much Ado About Nothing, Shakespeare Includes Two Quite Different Stories Of Romantic Love Hero And Claudio Fall In Love Almost At First Sight, But An Outsider, Don John, Strikes Out At Their Happiness Beatrice And Benedick Are Kept Apart By Pride And Mutual Antagonism Until Others Decide To Play Cupid
Much Ado About Nothing is a comedy by William Shakespeare thought to have been written in 1598 and 1599, as Shakespeare was approaching the middle of his career. The play was included in the First Folio, published in 1623. 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.
Characters:A boy, Hero, Ursula, Antonio, Don Pedro, Beatrice, Claudio, Benedick, Don John, Leonato, Dogberry, Friar Francis, Verges, Magaret, Balthazar, Borachio, Conrade, A Sexton, The Watch, Innogen
Abstract:The action is set in Sicily, where Don Pedro, Prince of Aragon, has recently defeated his halfbrother, the bastard Don John, in a military engagement. Apparently reconciled, they return to the capital, Messina, as guests of the Governor, Leonato. There Count Claudio, a young nobleman serving in Don Pedro's army, falls in love with Hero, Leonato's daughter, whom Don Pedro woos on his behalf. 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.
تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز چهارم ماه ژانویه سال 1972 میلادی
عنوان: هیاهوی بسیار برای هیچ، کمدی در دو بخش؛ ترجمه و تنظیم: عبدالحسین نوشین، نشر: کتابخانه ایران، 1329، در 128 ص؛
يادداشت: با ترجمه خانم فریده مهدوی دامغانی نیز توسط انتشارات تیر، در سال 1378 و در 114 ص. چاپ شده است
دون پدرو، شاهزاده ی خوشنام و حاکم آراگون، پس از درگیریهای تقریباً بدون خونریزی، با برادرخوانده اش دون ژوآن، همراه او به مسینا میآید، تا چند روزی را میهمان عالیجناب لئوناتو، حکمران آن دوک نشین ساحلی باشند... این نمایش در پنج پرده تدوین شده، و دارای شانزده شخصیت، و تعدادی سیاهی لشکر است. شخصیتهای اصلی نمایشنامه عبارت اند از: دون پدرو: شاهزاده خوش مشرب آراگون.؛ دون ژوآن: برادر ساکت، شوم، فتنه انگیز و حرام زاده ی دون پدرو. لئوناتو: ریش سفید جمع، فرماندار مسینا. کلودیو: رجل اعیانزاده فلورانسی، مسیو عشق، در خدمت دون پدرو. هِرو: دختر ریزنقش لئوناتو، همنام هِرو دختر زئوس پادشاه خدایان آتن. بندیک؛ بئاتریس؛ بوراکیو؛ کنراد؛ مارگارت؛ اورسولا؛ داگبری؛ ورجس؛ آنتونیو؛ بالتازار؛ کشیش فرانسیس؛ مستخدمان، قاصدان، خادم کلیسا، قبرکن، نگهبانان. ا. شربیانی 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 losing her virginity to another man while engaged to Claudio. Therefore it is "Much Ado about Nothing" as nothing was really going on, "Much Ado about Noting" as it's concerned with the views the characters have of each others' moral fiber (how they "note" each other), and "Much Ado about Nothing" as it was concerned with Hero's own naughty bits/her virginity.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. here I am reviewing this play exactly 420 years since it came out.... it's what Beatrice and Benedick would've wanted
So... the thing is. This is, in all honesty, the play that got me into Shakespeare. I saw that Kenneth Branagh / Emma Thompson movie of it when I was maybe eight years old and I loved it so much (although I will point out that no adaptation has really understood the vibe of these characters so well as the David Tennant / Catherine Tate edition), and so that's why you can hate on this play for making me so obnoxious all the time. I am, however, still particularly obnoxious about this specific play. This is a Shakespearean comedy that essentially has the central message "respecting women is the only true way to be a romantic hero" and also is still hysterically funny and also contains Unbearable Tenderness™️ and for that, we have to stan.
“O God, that I were a man! I would eat his heart in the marketplace” is absolutely one of the most fucking hardcore lines in any Shakespeare play and had more impact on me than the entire Star Wars franchise. 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 1598.
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. The real villain of Much Ado About Nothing is the culture of misogyny in Messina.
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 misogynytinged jokes to get a rise out of her, is the only man who believes a woman.
But from that same analysis:
...“Kill Claudio” [is] less a demand that Benedick murder his friend and more a plea that he break with the toxic culture of male camaraderie. And Benedick agrees. In the midst of a play saturated with jokes about women’s volubility and defined by the rejection of a supposedly unfaithful woman, he then makes the monumental decision to trust Beatrice. He listens to her when she grieves and finally asks her a single question: “Think you, in your soul that Count Claudio hath wronged Hero?” When she replies in the affirmative, her word is all the proof he needs to part with the prince and challenge his best friend.
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.
First of all, Beatrice and Benedick's relationship is absolutely the ultimate romantic comedy and other romantic comedies can't fucking compare:
➽the first line that Beatrice says to Benedick is, not even joking, “I wonder that you will still be talking, Signior Benedick, nobody marks you”
➽he's like “why Beatrice I thought you'd be dead by now”
➽Beatrice gets her revenge by calling Benedick a dull court jester in disguise
➽I mean if any girl ever roasted me that hard I too would risk it all
➽everyone in the show is like “wow they keep roasting each other you know what's a good idea? make them think the other one is in love with them”
➽of course this works
➽they each hide very badly as other people talk around them and if your show does not play with the physical comedy of this it is weak and will not survive the winter
➽seriously. one time i saw one where Benedick hid behind a plant and kept walking around. Catherine Tate dangled from a hook and David Tennant got flour all over his superman tshirt for this
➽they get Benedick first and then Beatrice shows up to invite him to dinner and is like “i've come against my will to summon you to dinner” and he's like “there's a double meaning in that”
➽you think I'm joking but no act two scene three line 260 fucking says hi
And that's just the comedy part I haven't even started talking about tenderness yet!
And Benedick, love on; I will requite thee,
This line, from Beatrice's notquite 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? Tender.
I do love nothing in the world so well as you. Is not that strange?
ladies, imagine this: it's the 1590s and your cousin's fiance accuses her of infidelity at the altar. everyone, including her father, abandons her, except for your crush who you hated until one (1) day ago. he tries to protect your cousin and then also professes his love to you. you ask said crush, who happens to be the fiance's best friend, to challenge him. he knows she didn't deserve that and he loves you and so he does so, as well as resigning from the famous soldier's company he's a part of, and then he writes a love sonnet to you and also shaves his beard and also plans a marriage proposal
Tarry, good Beatrice. 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.
Like this line is objectively really funny because Beatrice is just talking about going with Benedick to have a conversation with her uncle and he’s. being an overdramatic bitch again. and also it's partially a sex joke. but the other thing is that. this line is so unbearably tender. imagine you ask someone to go with you to your uncle’s and they seriously tell you not only do they want to do that but they also want to die in your lap and be buried in your eyes, sort of in a joking tone but also completely meaning it. i cant think about that too long or ill absolutely go insane
They literally fall in love based on a practical joke. but they genuinely love each other because they respect each other. and each other's wit. the romantic heroine keeps threatening men with death and the the romantic hero drinks respecting women juice and also thinks being insulted is hot. Romeo and Juliet could never. god i want LOVE.
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.
If you would like to go feral for 3 hours straight I would like to direct you to the David Tennant / Catherine Tate version of this show, available free for your viewing pleasure on Youtube! This show is absolutely wonderful at all times but I think this particular version is fairly accessible even to those with no Shakespeare knowledge. Highlights include:
➽Benedick riding in on a golf cart
➽the fact that during the disguisedattheparty scene Beatrice is wearing a suit and Benedick is wearing a jean skirt, women's shirt, and tights
➽that scene in which Benedick is laughing at his friends for playing music and starts sarcastically doing pirrouettes
➽the ensuing scene in which he accidentally sticks his hand in flour but then is so shook by someone actually liking him that he rubs it all over his face and shirt and somehow makes it look natural
➽that part where Benedick drinks alcohol using a crazy straw
➽the entire xylophone joke
➽the scene in which they confess their love and they both start laughing really hard and dancing around the room and it's really funny but also so fucking tender. i havent stopped thinking about how much i love that
I love this play. This is my alltime favorite play and I care so much. I'm so glad it's still as good as I remembered.
Blog | Twitter | Instagram | Spotify | Youtube | About | Much Ado about Nothing, written in 1598, 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 oneup 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 wealthy heiress.
Claudio comes home from war, takes a look at Hero and all of her huge ... tracts of land (actually they’re her father’s, but will be Hero’s at some point), decides he's in love, makes sure she's her father's only child and heirand then lets his commander, the Prince of Aragon, Don Pedro, propose to Hero on his behalf. 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 meanspirited 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 hardhearted. 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.
There's a lot of humor in this play, much of it very risqué if you know Elizabethan idioms. 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 wrongbutalmostright word, delightfully and obliviously butchering the English language.
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.
I highly recommend the delightful 1993 film version of this play, starring the wonderful Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson at their best, as well as Denzel Washington as Don Pedro, Michael Keaton as the hapless Dogberry, Keanu Reeves as the evil Don John, Robert Sean Leonard as Claudio, and a lovely young Kate Beckinsale as Hero, in her film debut.
The plot of 'Much Ado' revolves around a deception which causes temporary misunderstandings and frustrations amongst the main characters. 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. But the ‘ado’ nevertheless gives us one of Shakespeare’s most interesting female characters: Beatrice. Beatrice has the wittiest lines and the cleverest insightsespecially about marriage and what it means for women. She also has the clearest overall vision of what is happening in the play and may even be seen as the bravest character, ready to defend her cousin Hero’s honour when everyone else, even Hero’s father, immediately believes the lies spread about Hero by the villainous Don John. Beatrice’s bravery is particularly impressive given that the majority of the male characters are soldiers well used to engaging in combat, but they are all made to seem foolish or weak at one time or another. Only Beatrice retains our full respect. I’m tempted to imitate Henry James with his ‘ado about Isabel Archer’ and interpret the play as an ‘ado about Beatrice’. 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.
As I was reading and admiring Beatrice’s words and actions, a thought occurred to me. Perhaps there was more to HJ’s reference to an ‘ado’ than I'd previously thought. I began to see parallels between Beatrice and Isabel Archer. Both heroines live in their uncle’s houses, and both are unmarried though no longer in their teens. 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. When Benedick says, “Beatrice is wise but for loving me,” we sadly remember that Isabel too was wisebut for choosing Gilbert Osmond.
The Oxford World's Classics edition I reluctantly bought turned out to be perfect. Lovely cover, quality paper, a clear font and wellspaced 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.
And I returned to the bookshop, where, without further ado, I bought Oxford editions of 'Measure for Measure', 'The Taming of the Shrew' and 'Romeo and Juliet', all of which I've since read. I can truly say that I'm finally reading Shakespeare for pleasure. Thank you, Henry.
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?), 2) Dogberry and Verges are secondrate clowns, and 3) Claudio, in his readiness to believe ill of Hero, is too unsympathetic a lover for a nonproblem comedy. On the other hand, whenever Beatrice and Benedict are sparringwhich is much of the playMuch 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. I saw an absolutely brilliant version of this play today at Shakespeare’s Globe in London. 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.
If I’m ever critical of Shakespeare’s works it’s because I know how excellent Shakespeare can be. 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. At least, I’ve never seen a decent live version of it. There’s not much room for spectacle in the play. But here’s the tricky thing about Shakespeare, some of his plays are excellent to read and some of them are not. 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. LikeTwelfth Night (and all the comedies) the real genius of the writing does not come through until it is seen in action.
Much Ado About Nothing has a simple plot and it’s built around two central characters, Beatrix and Benedict. Everybody else involved are mere plot devices crafted by Shakespeare. Hero, Claudio and Don Pedro, though playing major parts in the action, don’t really have much in the way of personality or innerconflict. 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’s easy for the audience to spot such a thing, and seeing the characters slowly realise it is wonderful to behold. 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. If not you could always try the DVD when it is eventually released if you’re really keen.