Shakespeare's wonderful comedy, Much Ado About Nothing, is an entertaining tale of the trials and tribulations of two pairs of lovers, who must face and overcome both malicious schemes plotted against them and also their own flaws and shortcomings before finding happiness together. Although clearly a comedy, the play is not without its darker moments. Don John plots to ruin Claudio's marriage; he nearly succeeds because Claudio, and most of the other men in the play, are too quick to judge Hero (and women in general) as innately deceitful. Naturally, true love wins through in the end, as the plot is exposed and foiled and Hero and Claudio are happily wed. Joining them at the altar are Beatrice and Benedick, the sharp-tongued pair who have (thanks to a little friendly intervention) discovered the mutual admiration previously hidden beneath their sarcasm.
It is possible for the director of a film based on the play to interpret the text in many ways. One option, for example, would be to emphasize the similarities between the deception perpetrated by Don John and that of the more friendly conspirators, and thus paint a darker picture of the intent and actions of those attempting to unite Beatrice and Benedick. Another treatment might instead choose to focus upon the differences between the two deceptions. The topic of Benedick and Beatrice's love for each other can be handled differently as well. Perhaps one director might portray this love as being created by the conspirators' acting, might portray Beatrice and Benedick as two proud individuals tricked into loving each other. Alternatively, another director could shoot the same scenes to show Benedick and Beatrice's love...
... middle of paper ...
...lt they had been duped into loving each other, our reaction could not have been as positive. Similarly, we laugh along with the conspirators, secure in the conviction that we are laughing at an innocent prank and not a malicious deception. Branagh's focus upon the lighter side of the play brings out its comic side without distancing us from the characters. On the contrary - this emphasis upon the joy and laughter brings us closer to the characters and allows us to rejoice with them.
Sources Cited and Consulted
Dawson, A. B. 'Much Ado About Signifying', Studies in English Literature 22, 211-21. 1982.
Humphreys, A. R. 1981; 'Introduction' to Much Ado About Nothing. London and New York: Routledge. repr. 1994.
Much Ado about Nothing. Dir. Kenneth Branagh. Perf. Emma Thompson, KennethBranagh, Denzel Washington, Michael Keaton, and Keanu Reeves. Goldwyn, 1993
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- The scene opens in the beautiful hills of Tuscany, Italy. Lying about on the slopes of grass are the humble townsfolk basking in the sunshine as a soft voice introduces; “Sigh no more ladies, sigh no more.” This dreamlike setting is the opening scene of the major motion picture Much Ado About Nothing as envisioned by film director Kenneth Branagh. A far cry from its Shakespearean origins, Branagh’s Much Ado has a look and feel all of its own. This film seeks to capture its audience with visual majesty as the characters and setting are transformed to reveal Branagh’s joyful rendition of Shakespeare’s romantic comedy.... [tags: Film Review]
1584 words (4.5 pages)
- Much Ado About Nothing Movie Review Cast: Kenneth Branagh, Emma Thompson, Denzel Washington, Keanu Reeves, Robert Sean Leonard, Kate Beckinsale, Richard Briers, Brian Blessed, Michael Keaton, Ben Elton Running Time: 1hr 5mins Introduction ============ If you're studying the Shakespeare play, Much Ado About Nothing, be sure to watch Kenneth Branagh's interpretation of this play. This film will provide you with an enhanced understanding of the play. Although, it is misleading at times, this version of the play will keep you fully entertained for the full 111 minutes and provide you with extra knowledge of the play.... [tags: Papers]
629 words (1.8 pages)
- Comparing the Play versus the Film of William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing ?Much Ado About Nothing' is a postwar love story. Its principal subject is that of romance that may settle over the land after soldiers come home. I noticed that Much Ado is actually two love stories. One concerns sweetly innocent lovers who are driven apart by the plotting of enemies. The other involves very sarcastic lovers who are swept into each other's arms by the benign machinations of friends. I had a lot of trouble understanding the dialect, I grew up a country boy and we didn?t do much of this in my 14 persons graduating class.... [tags: William Shakespeare Much Ado About Essays]
871 words (2.5 pages)
- Film Versions of Shakespeare Comedies Shakespearean plays are complex, intricate pieces of work in which a diverse range of interpretations and readings can be made. This is particularly true of his comedies, where the light-hearted humour is often offset by darker, more serious undertones. In adapting these comedies it is for the director – in the cinematic context – to decide how to interpret the play and which elements are privileged and which are suppressed. This variance in interpretation is exemplified in comparing two of the more recent cinematic adaptations of Shakespeare’s comedies, Trevor Nunn’s Twelfth Night and Kenneth Branagh’s A Much Ado About Nothing [‘Much Ado’].... [tags: Twelfth Night Much Ado Nothing Essays]
2205 words (6.3 pages)
- Exploring Love in Much Ado About Nothing In Much Ado About Nothing Shakespeare depicts different kinds of loving relationships - romantic love, family support and loyal friendship - and shows how various characters react to love and marriage. By exploring the effects of this powerful emotion Shakespeare highlights its universal relevance, a relevance that transcends time. The main plot of Much Ado About Nothing is that of the relationship between Claudio and Hero. Their story is a melodramatic saga concerning the realities of relationships based on love at first sight.... [tags: Much Ado About Nothing Essays]
2807 words (8 pages)
- Social Illusions in Much Ado About Nothing In Much Ado About Nothing, Shakespeare presents us with a romp through the realms of truth and illusion. The play is full of characters plotting and deceiving, for both noble and repugnant reasons. It is a study in the importance and necessity of illusion in our everyday lives, and shows how deeply ingrained deception is in our social behaviors. Everybody is involved in some kind of illusion, from the masked celebration to the unveiling of Hero's "cousin." Two of the major conspiracies in the play are the Claudio/Hero plotline and the Benedick/Beatrice story.... [tags: Much Ado About Nothing Essays]
587 words (1.7 pages)
- Much Ado About Nothing Love Story Shakespeare My first impression of Much Ado About Nothing is that it would be a love story. Although it is categorised as a Shakespearean comedy, I found the many "funny" parts of the play were foggy and required you to read the scene over a few times before you understood them. But then again, I had to read the whole scene over again a few times to understand anything. All of the characters in Much Ado About Nothing seemed to develop a personality of their own from the very first scene. It also helped that I saw the movie version of Much Ado About Nothing before we read the play so I could almost get a picture in my head as t... [tags: Much Ado About Nothing Essays]
378 words (1.1 pages)
- 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 it... [tags: Much Ado About Nothing Essays]
1272 words (3.6 pages)
- Shakespeare's play "Much Ado About Nothing" takes place in Messina, a city-state of Renaissance Italy. The Renaissance was a period in European history believed to have been between AD 1300 and AD 1600 with a feudal society of agricultural economy and church dominated culture. It was during the Renaissance that Europe was transformed into a society dominated by central political institutions with education, arts and music heavily influenced by the Christian religion. In Italy, cities such as Florence, Ferrara, Milan, and Venice flourished.... [tags: Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing]
772 words (2.2 pages)
- Much Ado About Nothing: Beatrice, Portia and Marriage Hero and Claudio represent the Elizabethan norm in marriage. Claudio is the shrewd, hardheaded fortune hunter and Hero is the modest maiden of conduct books and marriage manuals, a docile young woman. It is important to note that Claudio is more concerned with advancement in Don Pedro's army than he is with love. Therefore, Shakespeare illustrates to the reader through the near tragedy of mistaken identity that Claudio must learn that marriage is more than a business arrangement and become worthy of Hero's love and affection.... [tags: Much Ado About Nothing Essays]
525 words (1.5 pages)