Much Ado About Nothing


With Hero in hiding and falsely reported dead, Beatrice persuades Benedick to fight Claudio. Tragedy is averted when the bumbling city watch, having discovered Don John's treachery, arrives and clears Hero's name. With Claudio forgiven, both couples are ready to get married.

There is little difference between the dialogue of the two texts, although Q1's stage directions and speech prefixes are often more confusing than those in F1. The Folger edition is based on Q1, with changes to the text indicated in half-brackets. Some of these images show actors in character, while others show the plays as if they were real-life events—telling the difference isn't always easy.

A selection of images related to Much Ado is shown below, with links to our digital image collection. These modes of deceit play into a complementary theme of emotional manipulation and the ease with which the characters' sentiments are redirected and their propensities exploited as a means to an end. The characters' feelings for each other are played as vehicles to reach an ultimate goal of engagement rather than seen as an end in themselves.

People are constantly pretending to be others or being mistaken for other people. An example of this is Margaret who is mistaken for Hero, which leads to Hero's public disgrace at her wedding with Claudio. However, during a masked ball in which everyone must wear a mask, Beatrice rants about Benedick to a masked man who turns out to be Benedick himself but she acts unaware of this at the time. During the same celebration, Don Pedro, masked, pretends to be Claudio and courts Hero for him. After Hero is announced "dead," Leonato orders Claudio to marry his "niece," who is actually Hero in disguise.

Another motif is the play on the words nothing and noting , which in Shakespeare's day were near- homophones. The title could also be understood as Much Ado About Noting. Much of the action is in interest in and critique of others, written messages, spying , and eavesdropping. This is mentioned several times, particularly concerning "seeming," "fashion," and outward impressions. Nothing is a double entendre ; "an O-thing" or "n othing" or "no thing" was Elizabethan slang for " vagina ", evidently derived from the pun of a woman having "nothing" between her legs.

  • David Rudkin: Sacred Disobedience: An Expository Study of his Drama 1959-1994 (Routledge Harwood Con.
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For I have only been silent so long And given way unto this course of fortune By noting of the lady. Thou knowest that the fashion of a doublet, or a hat, or a cloak is nothing to a man. A triple play on words in which noting signifies noticing, musical notes and nothing occurs at 2. Or if thou wilt hold longer argument, Do it in notes. Note this before my notes: There's not a note of mine that's worth the noting. Why, these are very crotchets that he speaks — Note notes, forsooth, and nothing! Don Pedro's last line can be understood to mean, "Pay attention to your music and nothing else!

Ho, now you strike like the blind man — 'twas the boy that stole your meat, and you'll beat the post. Now you talk of a sheet of paper, I remember a pretty jest your daughter told us of. O, when she had writ it and was reading it over, she found Benedick and Beatrice between the sheet? The play was very popular in its early decades, as it would be later: David Garrick first played Benedick in and continued to play him until The great nineteenth-century stage team Henry Irving and Ellen Terry counted Benedick and Beatrice as their greatest triumph and Charles Kemble also had a great success as Benedick.

John Gielgud made Benedick one of his signature roles between and , playing the part opposite the Beatrice of Diana Wynyard , Peggy Ashcroft , and Margaret Leighton. The longest running Broadway production is A. Jacobi had also played Benedick in the Royal Shakespeare Company 's highly praised production. Director Terry Hands produced the play on a stage-length mirror, against an unchanging backdrop of painted trees.

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There have been several screen adaptations of Much Ado About Nothing, and almost all of them have been made for television. It is directed by A.

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Beatrice, Leonato's niece, asks the messenger about Benedick, Don Pedro's companion, and makes sarcastic remarks about his ineptitude as a soldier. Benedick, who openly despises marriage, tries to dissuade his friend but Don Pedro encourages the marriage. Yes No Report this. DOGBERRY If you meet a thief, you may suspect him, by virtue of your office, to be no true man; and, for such kind of men, the less you meddle or make with them, why the more is for your honesty. Young lovers Hero and Claudio, soon to wed, conspire to get verbal sparring partners and confirmed singles Benedick and Beatrice to wed as well. Because of how they were cataloged, some images from other plays might appear in the image searches linked here, so always check the sidebar to see if the image is described as part of a larger group.

The first cinematic version in English may have been the silent film directed by Phillips Smalley. The first sound version in English released to cinemas was the highly acclaimed film by Kenneth Branagh.

The Hindi film Dil Chahta Hai is a loose adaptation of the play. In , Joss Whedon completed filming of an adaptation , [24] released in June In a filmed version of the live performance at The Globe was released to cinemas and on DVD. In a filmed version of the performance at Wyndham's Theatre was made available for download or streaming on the Digital Theatre website. The title of the album is also a quotation from the play.

In , a YA adaptation was released by author Mckelle George called Speak Easy, Speak Love , where the events of the play take place in the s, focused around a failing speakeasy. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Much Ado About Nothing disambiguation. Claudio, of Florence ; a count, companion of Don Pedro, friend to Benedick. Leonato, governor of Messina; Hero's father Antonio, brother of Leonato.

Balthasar, attendant on Don Pedro, a singer.

Much Ado About Nothing

Borachio, follower of Don John. Conrade, follower of Don John. Innogen, a ghost character in early editions as Leonato's wife Hero, daughter of Leonato Margaret, waiting-gentlewoman attendant on Hero. Adam's sons are my brethren; and, truly, I hold it a sin to match in my kindred. For, hear me, Hero: All put on their masks. I am sick in displeasure to him, and whatsoever comes athwart his affection ranges evenly with mine.

How canst thou cross this marriage? Go you to the prince your brother; spare not to tell him that he hath wronged his honour in marrying the renowned Claudio--whose estimation do you mightily hold up--to a contaminated stale, such a one as Hero. Look you for any other issue? They will scarcely believe this without trial: Be cunning in the working this, and thy fee is a thousand ducats. Whisper her ear and tell her, I and Ursula Walk in the orchard and our whole discourse Is all of her; say that thou overheard'st us; And bid her steal into the pleached bower, Where honeysuckles, ripen'd by the sun, Forbid the sun to enter, like favourites, Made proud by princes, that advance their pride Against that power that bred it: This is thy office; Bear thee well in it and leave us alone.

I will only be bold with Benedick for his company; for, from the crown of his head to the sole of his foot, he is all mirth: DON PEDRO There is no appearance of fancy in him, unless it be a fancy that he hath to strange disguises; as, to be a Dutchman today, a Frenchman to-morrow, or in the shape of two countries at once, as, a German from the waist downward, all slops, and a Spaniard from the hip upward, no doublet.

FOLGER SHAKESPEARE LIBRARY

Unless he have a fancy to this foolery, as it appears he hath, he is no fool for fancy, as you would have it appear he is. I warrant, one that knows him not. Old signior, walk aside with me: I have studied eight or nine wise words to speak to you, which these hobby-horses must not hear.

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God hath blessed you with a good name: I knew it would be your answer. Well, for your favour, sir, why, give God thanks, and make no boast of it; and for your writing and reading, let that appear when there is no need of such vanity. You are thought here to be the most senseless and fit man for the constable of the watch; therefore bear you the lantern. This is your charge: Second Watchman How if a' will not stand? You shall also make no noise in the streets; for, for the watch to babble and to talk is most tolerable and not to be endured.

Watchman We will rather sleep than talk: Well, you are to call at all the ale-houses, and bid those that are drunk get them to bed. Watchman How if they will not? DOGBERRY If you meet a thief, you may suspect him, by virtue of your office, to be no true man; and, for such kind of men, the less you meddle or make with them, why the more is for your honesty.

Folger Consort

Watchman If we know him to be a thief, shall we not lay hands on him? Watchman How if the nurse be asleep and will not hear us? DOGBERRY Why, then, depart in peace, and let the child wake her with crying; for the ewe that will not hear her lamb when it baes will never answer a calf when he bleats. Well, masters, good night: Watchman Well, masters, we hear our charge: I pray you watch about Signior Leonato's door; for the wedding being there to-morrow, there is a great coil to-night. HERO And bid her come hither. DOGBERRY It pleases your worship to say so, but we are the poor duke's officers; but truly, for mine own part, if I were as tedious as a king, I could find it in my heart to bestow it all of your worship.

Well said, i' faith, neighbour Verges: An honest soul, i' faith, sir; by my troth he is, as ever broke bread; but God is to be worshipped; all men are not alike; alas, good neighbour! I am now in great haste, as it may appear unto you. HERO None, my lord. Why, then, some be of laughing, as, ah, ha, he! Father, by your leave: Will you with free and unconstrained soul Give me this maid, your daughter?

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Much Ado About Nothing is a comedy by William Shakespeare thought to have been written in and , as Shakespeare was approaching the middle of. Faith, niece, you tax Signior Benedick too much; but he'll be meet with you, I doubt it not. Messenger. He hath done good service, lady, in these wars. BEATRICE.

There, Leonato, take her back again: Give not this rotten orange to your friend; She's but the sign and semblance of her honour. Behold how like a maid she blushes here! O, what authority and show of truth Can cunning sin cover itself withal! Comes not that blood as modest evidence To witness simple virtue? Would you not swear, All you that see her, that she were a maid, By these exterior shows? But she is none: She knows the heat of a luxurious bed; Her blush is guiltiness, not modesty. No, Leonato, I never tempted her with word too large; But, as a brother to his sister, show'd Bashful sincerity and comely love.