Two of Shakespeare’s Most Successful Comedies Essay

Two of Shakespeare’s Most Successful Comedies Essay

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Much Ado About Nothing and Twelfth Night are two of Shakespeare’s most successful comedies. Some may say that the two poems are like day and night, much different from one another. But it will be proven to you that they are very similar. Shakespeare incorporates many of the strong elements of Much Ado About Nothing into Twelfth Night and vice-versa. The characters also share common traits across both plays. The settings have a slight utopian feeling, as both worlds are based on Italy. Even the plots have big similarities as they are both based on love, power, wealth and marriage.

Firstly, the characters in both plays share many characteristics. There are people in power, the poor, the evil and the fools. Messina’s police force in Much Ado About Nothing is made up of unpaid citizens, with Dogberry and Verges as the officers. They are very foolish and it seems that they were written into the play just to be foolish and make the audience laugh. This is similar to Feste’s, the allowed fool, role in Twelfth Night. However, Feste also sings songs to the family and had thrown an unappreciated party. Sir Andrew Aguecheek can also be quite the fool, for instance he uses the word ‘methinks’ in line 82 of Act 1, Scene 3; "Methinks sometimes I have no more wit than a Christian or an ordinary man has."

Olivia and Hero also can be compared. They are the leading characters in Twelfth Night and Much Ado About Nothing, respectively. They are both, young, female, and live in expansive mansions with overflowing gardens. Throughout the plays they are both trying to find a husband. Olivia, at the start of Twelfth Night, falls in love with Cesario, who is really a girl, Viola, in disguise to find work. But, Olivia does not find out until the end ...


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...s garters. While Malvolio is reading the letter in the gardens, Maria, Sir Andrew Aguecheek and Sir Toby Belch are all eavesdropping and laughing at how he’s falling for it. After that Malvolio goes to see Olivia, and gets locked in the jail for acting crazy.

The endings of both plays follow a similar path; almost everyone is happy and full of joy. At the end of Twelfth Night Sir Toby Belch and Maria marry and Malvolio is brought out from the jail, covered in dirt and in an awful situation. Much Ado About Nothing’s ending ends with Hero and Claudio getting married and all the characters are out, singing and dancing.

Therefore it can be proven that Twelfth Night and Much Ado About Nothing are very similar Shakespeare plays. The years they were written, plots of the stories, characters and their traits and settings used, all prove that they are very alike.


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