William Shakespeare’s Much Ado about Nothing

Length: 7 Pages 1864 Words

Roger Ebert described Shakespeare’s play, Much Ado about Nothing, as a comedy, in which the most important thing is the style: "A play like Much Ado about Nothing is all about style. I doubt if Shakespeare's audiences at the Globe took it any more seriously than we do. It is farce and mime and wisecracks, and dastardly melodrama which all come right in the end, of course, because this is a Comedy." Indeed, Much Ado about Nothing seems to be made exclusively of the pranks and games that the characters play on each other. As such, the play lacks any consistency in action or meaning, to the extent that it can not be taken seriously by the audience. In this sense, Shakespeare’s text is a pure comedy, with no tangible content. Nevertheless, the play does contain a few elements that can be considered tragic or at least serious enough to make its status as a pure comedy debatable. Inasmuch as the play is filled with witticisms and comic farces that all end well it can be maintained that it is written entirely as a comedy. However, the mere fact that everything turns out as good as possible, does not cover up the serious subjects in the text, which are emphasized at the end of the play. Thus, the interpretation of the play can begin Continue...


) Thus, the plot devised by the villainous Don John can hardly be said to pertain to the comic genre. Also, the end of the play is very significant. She speaks poniards, and every word stabs: if her breath were as terrible as her terminations, there were no living near her; she would infect to the north star. He simply returns Hero to her father, at the same time emphasizing what he sees as the deceit- her innocence is not what it seems according to him: "There, Leonato, take her back again. 32-43) Also, Leonato's bitter rejection of his daughter after she had been accused by Claudio is equally painful for Hero. If we remember Romeo and Juliet's story, we can deduce the kind of consequences that his deception might have had: "Your daughter here the princes left for dead. Thus, in spite of the fact that the play abounds in comic witticisms and comic devices, like that of mistaken identity or misprision, there is a certain seriousness that underlies the comic aspect. Thus, as Don Pedro announces in the beginning of the play the purpose of well-meant trick that he wants to play on Hero to induce her to love Claudio is supposed to bring the company a lot of "reveling for the night: "I know we shall have revelling to-night. Once Don John begins his wicked deceiving, the play no longer has the safety of a comedy. In this way, Much Ado about Nothing can be said to be one of Shakespeare's problem plays, in which comedy verges on tragedy or the other way around. ) The play thus far seems to be designed as a pure comedy based on the device of mistaken identity. 16-17) The line however clearly describes the general behavior of the characters in the play, that "dare do all kinds of things that provoke fate, without knowing what they do. Berenice and Benedick exchange during the first three acts a long series of invectives and maledictions against one another and against the opposite sex in general, dissimulating thus the attraction between them.