Essay on Much Ado About Nothing By William Shakespeare

Essay on Much Ado About Nothing By William Shakespeare

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An Analysis of Much Ado About Nothing Written between 1598 and 1600 at the peak of Shakespeare 's skill in writing comedic work, Much Ado About Nothing is one of Shakespeare 's wittiest works. In this comedy, Shakespeare 's drama satirizes love and human courtliness between two couples who take very different paths to reach the same goal: making the connection between inward and outward beauty. Much Ado About Nothing shows different ways of how people are attracted to one another, and how their realization and definitions of "love" relate to their perceptions of inward and outward beauty. The play is set in Messina, Italy, a small province facing the Straits of Messina, in northeastern Sicily, at the estate of the governor of Messina, Leonato. Don Pedro, Prince of Arragon, Don John, his brother, Borachio his servant, Bene*censored*, a young lord, and Claudio his best friend are all returning from war and have been invited to stay with Leonato for a month. Shakespeare 's antagonist Don John, bears much resemblance to Don John of Austria, the illegitimate son of Charles V, half-brother to the King of Aragon who defeated the Turks at Lepanto and returned to Messina after his victory in October of 1571 (Richmond 51). Don John of Austria had many of the qualities that Shakespeare 's Don John did, he was not on good terms with his brother, and although he tried with much effort to gain status, he was frequently humiliated in attempts to bring himself fame. Shakespeare was known to draw parallels between his characters and actual historical figures, in an attempt to produce a sort abstract history of the times (Richmond 49). Upon returning from war, Claudio saw a young woman named Hero that he had seen before going to fight, and felt a...


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...nner beauty when her innocence was revealed, but his love of her wealth cannot be overlooked either. After learning of Hero 's innocence he agrees to marry one of Leonato 's nieces and says that he would even have an Ethiope for his wife. This could be interpreted as a desire of Claudio to marry into fortune, pursuance of his love wealth obscured by beauty. Both couples see inward and outward beauty by the end of the play, although they both end up learning practically opposite lessons in love (Brown 118). When we are not confident in our thoughts and ideas, we are hesitant and they do not translate them into actions thus the initial spark dies and we are blind to what could have been. Other times inner beauty is more clear than is outer beauty, and overconfidence in our observations and the way we present ourselves can make us blind from another perspective as well.

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