Essay Much Ado About Nothing: A Comedy with Deep Meaning

Essay Much Ado About Nothing: A Comedy with Deep Meaning

Length: 1272 words (3.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Much Ado About Nothing:  A Comedy with Deep Meaning   

 
Much Ado About Nothing--the title sounds, to a modern ear, offhand and self-effacing; we might expect the play that follows such a beginning to be a marvelous piece of fluff and not much more. However, the play and the title itself are weightier than they initially seem. Shakespeare used two other such titles--Twelfth Night, or What You Will and As You Like It--both of which send unexpected reverberations of meaning throughout their respective plays, the former with its reference to the Epiphany and the topsy-turvy world of a saturnalian celebration, and the latter with its implications about how the characters (and the audience itself) see the world in general and the Forest of Arden in particular.

Much Ado About Nothing is no different, but we do not pick up the deeper resonances as quickly as an Elizabethan would, simply because of a shift in pronunciation. We get our first real glimpse of the pun in the title when Don Pedro says, "Note notes, forsooth, and nothing!" (The Complete Signet Classic Shakespeare, ed. Sylvan Barnet, New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc., 1972, 2.3.57). As A. R. Humphreys explains, "That 'nothing', colloquially spoken, was close to or identical with 'noting' is the basis of Shakespearean puns, especially in a context of musical 'noting'. A similar pun, though non-musical, is conceivable here" (Introduction, The Arden Shakespeare: Much Ado About Nothing, London and New York: Methuen, 1981, 4).

The play is, in fact, driven by the "noting" of scenes or conversations and the characters' reactions to these observations; "noting" seems to be the thematic glue that binds the various plot elements together. When he wrote the play in ...


... middle of paper ...


...spite their lack of sophistication and their abuse of the English language, Dogberry, Verges and the rest of the Watch discover Don John's plotting and manage to sort out the confusion created by the aristocrats. "Much Ado is," as John Wilders says, "a play about 'noting', about the various and conflicting ways in which we respond to and judge other people" (147). It is about the flexibility of reality-- our ability to manipulate what other people observe and our occasional tendency to let biases influence our perceptions. And finally, it is about the inadequacy of "noting" the world with eyes and ears only, and the importance of relying on one's experience with and consequent faith in other human beings. Much Ado is all this, and marvelous comedy too.

Works Cited:

Shakespeare, William. Much Ado about Nothing. Ed. A.R. Humphreys. New York: Routledge, 1994.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Divine Comedy Of Dante Alighieri Essay

- Dante’s Dottrina ​The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri “Inferno” can bring tons of literature culture to the reader. It is full of allegories that sometimes leads the reader to its own interpretation and imagination. Allegory is a way of writing where ideas are defined with characters and events of a story. It could also be said that Allegory is what the reader can perceive from a work of literature. In the Canto IX (61-63), Dante gives a sense of pause in order to call on the attention of the reader as if Dante is speaking directly to the reader himself....   [tags: Divine Comedy, Dante Alighieri, Inferno, Virgil]

Strong Essays
1065 words (3 pages)

Essay on Much Ado About Nothing By William Shakespeare

- In Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare, Benedick displays his shift away from being too prideful for commitment to wanting to commit to loving Beatrice in act five scene two lines 26-41. Through his allusions to tragic love stories, use of homonyms, and song and poetry, Benedick shows a transition from bachelorhood to marriage because of his desire to impress Beatrice while also conveying his inward fears of commitment. Benedick alludes to one Greek myth and one Shakespearian story about men in love who experience complications....   [tags: Love, Poetry, Marriage, William Shakespeare]

Strong Essays
896 words (2.6 pages)

Themes of Love In William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing Essay

- ... Beatrice continues to ask questions about Benedick, she's clearly concerned about his welfare but she pretends to not care and be unconcerned. Now, on one hand we have that deep, realistic and enduring love. On the other hand there is Hero and Claudio who have no previous history. Claudio is immediately attracted to Hero, and he confesses to his comrade Benedick that he is in love and he has barely spoken to her. I've come to the conclusion that Claudio, due to the fact that he has just met Hero and has not even had a conversation with her, the reasons he is “in love” with her is purely for her outer beauty, innocence and the want to marry into a noble wealthy family....   [tags: relationship, trust, romance]

Strong Essays
622 words (1.8 pages)

Comedy of Errors, Adrianna/ marriage Essay

- Marriage: What Can you Posses. Within the very beginning of the story we see that the characters are placed into a society of which there is seemingly very little value in a persons humanity and kindness, but rather the society into which we first enter is seen as almost materialistic, and even though Egeon, has lost a wife and son, the Duke of Ephesus is only concerned with the money from which he can extract from Egeon. We see here that in order for Egeon to keep his marriage alive he has to pay for his life and so we begin to see the trend of what one can posses in a marriage, instead of love and respect....   [tags: essays research papers]

Strong Essays
810 words (2.3 pages)

Much Ado About Nothing is a Comedy with Serious Incidents Essay

- "This play we must call a comedy, tho' some of the incidents and discourses are more in a tragic strain; and that of the accusation of Hero is too shocking for either tragedy or comedy" (Charles Gildon 1714) How far do you accept this comment about the play's events and language. "Much Ado About Nothing" is a play categorised as a comedy, and written by the dramatist William Shakespeare. A comic play is usually accepted to be a light-hearted play with a happy conclusion. A play classed as a tragedy is serious and sad, usually ending with the death of the main character....   [tags: Much Ado About Nothing Essays]

Strong Essays
1418 words (4.1 pages)

Essay on Analysis Of ' Inferno ' : ' The Divine Comedy '

- Inferno: Metaphoric Christianity Dante 's masterpiece, the Divine Comedy, began around 1307 and concluded shortly before his death. It is an allegorical narrative of great precision and dramatic force, in which the poet’s imaginary journey through Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise is described. It is divided into three main sections, which receive their title on three stages of the journey. In each of these three worlds, Dante is finding with his mythological, historical or contemporary characters, each symbolizing a defect or virtue, either in the field of politics or in religion....   [tags: Divine Comedy, Hell, Purgatorio, Dante Alighieri]

Strong Essays
1463 words (4.2 pages)

Essay about The Divine Comedy By Dante Alighieri

- The Divine Comedy is an exhibit that is being revisited and created by a “group of forty of the best known emerging artist from 8 different African nations,” based off the 4th century poem “the divine comedy” written by Dante Alighieri. At the National African Art History museum in Washington, DC and this year happens to be the 50th anniversary of the museum of the opening of the original Capitol Hill museum founded by Warren Robbins and Johnetta Cole June 3, 1964. It tells a story about life by dividing it into three layers in life that identify and portray the mind of human life in a religious frame of mind....   [tags: Africa, South Africa, Divine Comedy, Hell]

Strong Essays
1657 words (4.7 pages)

The Divine Comedy and the Human Experience Essay

- The Divine Comedy: The Depth of Human Experience Religious, structured, and orderly. Although this book is religious through and through, it is also very earthly. You seem to never leave the earth. In fact, there seems to be no difference between earth and the heavenly sphere. It is a solid world, no distinction between mind and matter, everything is touchable. The physical expresses the spiritual, the spirit of God is physical and pervades the physical universe--it's all one place. There is no heaven and hell, it is just all here....   [tags: Divine Comedy Inferno Essays]

Free Essays
1313 words (3.8 pages)

Elizabethan Comedy Essay

- Do you like a good laugh. Elizabethan Comedy is the place to look. Full of puns and jokes plays like Much Ado About Nothing are sure to make you laugh. While their comedies were funny, the time period was a very serious. Even this did not stop the people of this era from having a laugh once in a while. Elizabethan era theatre, specifically Much Ado About Nothing, is still remembered today because it influenced theatre for future generations. This time was ruled by Queen Elizabeth who “was extremely fond of theatre” (Benson 169)....   [tags: Much Ado About Nothing]

Strong Essays
1346 words (3.8 pages)

Beatrice in Dante's Divine Comedy Essay

- Beatrice in Dante's Divine Comedy       How many people spend their whole life in love with a person they met only once when they were nine years old. Dante Alighieri, born in 1265, had only one meeting with Beatrice Portinari in 1274, making him only nine years old. By Dante's own account this was the most important event of his youth (Alighieri). When she passed away in 1290 Dante was about 25 and overcome with grief (Barbi 6). If Dante hadn't met Beatrice much of his work would have never been written....   [tags: Divine Comedy Inferno Essays Dante Poem]

Strong Essays
969 words (2.8 pages)