Much Ado About Nothing
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Much Ado About Nothing

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  134,736 ratings  ·  1,694 reviews
Much Ado About Nothing shows the violence of desire as well as its drive towards creative plotting or matchmaking. In this Handbook, Alison Findlay examines the play's comic and tragic potential in the theatre; its attempts to harmonise love and war, attraction and repulsion. The volume:

* explores the play's resonance in early performances with reference to the crisis over...more
Paperback, 184 pages
Published October 15th 2011 by Palgrave Macmillan (first published 1599)
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Madeline
Much Ado About Nothing, abridged.

CLAUDIO: So, um, Hero, I sorta maybe like you a whole lot will you go to the prom with me?

HERO: We should get married! Squeeeeeee!

BEATRICE: Pfft. Love is for stupid losers who are stupid.

BENEDICK: You know, you might get laid more often if you weren’t such a cynical bitch all the time.

BEATRICE: Fuck you.

BENEDICK: Get in line, sugartits.

*audience is beaten over the head by sexual tension*

DON PEDRO: Hey everybody, I had a great idea! Let’s make Beatrice and Bene...more
Kelly
Let's face it, there aren't too many of Shakespeare's females who kick ass. Yes, we all can name the four or five that don't quite suck (Kat, Portia, Viola, Emilia, etc) but good strong feminine characters were not, it seems, the bard's strong suit. So as you wade through the whiny, conniving, helpless throngs of man worshipping wenches that appear in nearly all Shakespeare plays, it can be tempting to just give up looking for redemption. But alas, it is this lack of strong feminine voice that m...more
Jason
What happened was, I hadn’t been paying close attention to my Netflix queue, and when Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing was released, I quickly flicked it to the top of the queue (like I do all new releases) without remembering that I had wanted to save it for when I actually read the play. (I was also saving Kenneth Branagh’s for the same occasion.) Then the red envelope arrived and I couldn’t let it sit there forever and I’m certainly not going to waste a few days sending it back unwatched,...more
Manny
I am probably the last person in the whole history of the world to get it, but, just in case there's someone else left, it occurred to me yesterday that the title of this play had to be a rude pun. Five minutes on Google was enough to confirm my suspicions. From this page:
In Shakespeare's time "nothing" was a euphemism for a woman's naughty bits. This gave the title three different yet equally appropriate meanings, as the main conflict over the play revolves around the false implication of Hero
...more
Bram
I’ve always found feistiness attractive. It’s probably the only consistent trait in the girls I’ve fallen for since high school. The clever retort, the unimpressed eye roll, the sarcastic aside: for better or worse, these are the things the pique my interest and prepare me for that unique form of suffering known as love. On my own, I’m hardly confident or witty enough to succeed in one-on-one situations with women who are shy or generally unforthcoming. I need someone to throw down the gauntlet...more
Henry Avila
Don Pedro, Prince of Aragon, in Spain, is coming to Messina, the capital of Sicily, for a little R&R, just having defeated his treacherous half- brother, in battle, with few casualties, nobody important, Don John (the "Bastard"), they are now reconciled again ! His army needs it, Rest and Relaxation, the governor of that city is his good, longtime friend, Leonato. The time, is unstated, but Aragon, ruled that island, in the 15th century. Count Claudio, who gained glory in battle, in the Prin...more
Erin
Jun 04, 2012 Erin rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Erin by: fans of Beatrice/Benedick
Edit 5/6/12 The perfect song to accompany a reading of this play would be Sigh No More by Mumford & Sons. There are several lyrics ripped straight from the text, not to mention similar themes. And it makes me oh so happy. :)

There are spoilers here, but this is Shakespeare. No way am I putting up spoiler tags.

According to the note in my copy, in Shakespeare's day the word "nothing" was pronounced "noting"-- so, "Much Ado About Noting", noting being synonymous with eavesdropping. That pretty m...more
Caris
This play so totally ripped off, like, a million movies.

It had a good plot, but it wasn’t better than Clueless, starring Alicia Silverstone and the great Brittany Murphy. The characters were interesting, but not as interesting as Ashton and Cameron’s characters in What Happens in Vegas. And the romance wasn’t anywhere near as good as the one between Judd Nelson and Molly Ringwald in The Breakfast Club.

You’d think someone as supposedly “great” as William Shakespeare could come up with his own mat...more
Brad
This is not a review. It is, instead, a call to all those people (who will probably never read these words because they aren't on goodreads) to teach Shakespeare young and often to the kids they love.

Don't wait for high school teachers to bungle the job. Don't let your kids stress out. Never tell your kids how tough Shakespeare is "supposed" to be. Don't share your own fears of the Bard's writing.

Do buy your family every filmed version or adaptation of Shakespeare's plays. Do, then, buy a book c...more
midnightfaerie
Click here for William Shakespeare Disclaimer

Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare is absolutely fantastic. I've only read a few Shakespeare so far, but I have a feeling it will be my favorite. I love the characters, the plot, the dialogue and the interaction between the characters. Every other Shakespeare will have to surpass this. Like the typical Shakespeare, it's difficult to give highlights of the plot because there is so much going on, but basically it's one of his comedies about...more
Joe Valdez
Apr 22, 2014 Joe Valdez rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Bachelors, bachelorettes, jesters
Shelves: plays
My game plan for revisiting Shakespeare was to stream video of a staging of the play, listening and watching while reading along to as much of the original text as was incorporated by the staging. Later, I read the entire play in the modern English version.

The staging I chose for Much Ado About Nothing was the 2013 film adapted and directed by Joss Whedon. Whedon brought a low key touch, preserving Shakespeare's text while inexplicably staging the action in present day Santa Monica, California,...more
Chris
This edition is the the tie-in for the Kenneth Branagh movie, so it is the movie script - some of the play has been cut. It includes photos of the shot, including the names of the horses the men rode.

Much Ado is my favorite Shakespeare play and I could write a wonderful essay about it (I did in college after all). Kenneth Branagh, however, says it best in the introduction:

"In short, the play presents a whole series of emotional and spiritual challenges that we - young, old, male, female - contin...more
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
This is an unfunny comedy. A notable exception is the misuse of words by Dogberry and Verges. I wouldn't even have caught that if not for the explanatory notes on the facing pages. I know I missed it when I saw the stage performance. There are a few humorous moments at the start between Beatrice and Benedick as they trade insults. Other than that, the play is more of a twisted romance. It has many of the same elements as other Shakespeare comedies, but it lacks the playfulness and absurdity of a...more
Zarakoda
I've read this play several times, watched a movie of it, and analyzed every single page so thoroughly that every page of my book became a mass of scribbles... and still I haven't grown tired of it. This is probably my favorite of Shakespeare's plays I read, with others I have enjoyed being Richard III, Henry IV Part I, and Hamlet. And I've also picked up and studied Othello, The Merchant of Venice, and Macbeth, but those weren't exactly my favorites.

What makes Much Ado About Nothing so much fun...more
C.
I found the Hero/Claudio plot really jarring and could barely see past it to get to the humour. The version I saw of it (before I read the play) cut out huge chunks of that particular subplot; Claudio was portrayed as an innocent, a young man who made a mistake. Which, I don't know, maybe the purists would get upset about, but it definitely made it a whole lot funnier.

In the actual play, though, my god he's a bastard. At the moment I'm in a place where I cannot stand that STUPID trope of the man...more
Jonathan
Shakespeare is a genius, well he was anyway now I guess he's just a dead genius, but his genius survives in the form of his plays. And like many other of his plays Much Ado About Nothing is something to make much ado about.

It is a brilliant comedy focusing on relationships between individuals as they attempt to cause individuals to fall in and out of love. In short it could be read as an analysis of the human heart and the ways in which human beings are emotionally led. Its beautifully written...more
Kelly
It says 1998, but I've read this/seen it/been in it so many times. The movie Kenneth Branagh made was my favorite in high school. (Yes, I grew up and got over that, but I still think it's beautiful to look at, and no one in the world can convince me that Emma Thompson isn't fantastic in it.) It's my favorite of the comedies, by far. I mean, how could you not like something whose only conclusion, after all the poetry and the beauty and the crazy fights and drama is that "Man is a giddy thing"?
David
Shakespeare, despite it's dated language, forgotten words, and belabored teaching in high school classrooms will seemingly never go out of fashion. I disagree whole-heartedly with Mr. Ramsy's assertion that "The very stone that one kicks with one's boot will outlast Shakespeare," in Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse, and am renewed in my disagreement whenever one of the Bard's play gets a new celluloid makeover, as is the case with Much Ado About Nothing. This weekend I'm going to see the moder...more
Bill  Kerwin
I don't think "Much Ado" ranks with Shakespeare's best for three reasons: 1) the plot is weak, particularly the deception that moves things along during the first act (why does Don Pedro choose to woo by proxy en masque? What is to be gained by it except delay and confusion?), 2) Dogberry and Verges are second-rate clowns, and 3)Claudio, in his readiness to believe ill of Hero, is much too unsympathetic a lover for a non-problem comedy. On the other hand, whenever Beatrice and Benedict are sparr...more
Mohamed Elshawaf
ضجة فارغة حقا, لأن كل أحداثها قائمة على شائعة, دسها أحد الحاقدين وهو دون جون أخ نجل دون بيدرو, الذى أراد أن ينتصر لنفسه بعد خسارته المعركة, فلجأ إلى تلك الحيلة ليفسد على الجميع فرحتهم, فاستطاع أن يقنعهم بأن حبيبة كلوديو, هيرو , عاهرة وبذلك تحولت الأفراح إلى أشجان مزجها شكسبير بأشعار رائعة, واستطاع محمد عنانى أن يترجمها ببراعة فائقة حتى بقوافيها...

أعجبتنى فكاهة بياتريس ومشاكستها مع بينديك..

بعد أن قرأتها أستطيع أن أقول أن معظم الأعمال الدرامية والكوميدية(أفلام ومسلسلات) أخذت من أعمال شكسبير واجهة...more
matt

I watched his movie version (ehhhnn) and I read this screenplay because I was playing Don John the bastard brother on stage back in high school.

In case anyone's interested, Joss Whedon's version of it that just came out is excellent. Better than Branagh's, for sure.
David Sarkies
Aug 03, 2014 David Sarkies rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: It's a chick flick, so chicks.
Recommended to David by: A bunch of people who love this play
Shelves: comedy
One of the bard's more boring works
29 July 2013

Once I went around church (and work), as I am prone to do, and asked as many people as possible what their favourite Shakespeare play was (assuming that they actually knew who Shakespeare was, and what plays he had written, and assuming that they had actually seen one) and what surprised me was that the most common answer was 'Much Ado About Nothing'. The reason that it surprised me is because it is not necessarily one of his most performed plays,...more
Stephanie Sun
It was interesting to see Shakespeare's text last night filtered through the lens of the feminist media brand that is "a Joss Whedon production" (although I guess they are distinguishing Bellwether from Mutant Enemy, so no Grr, Arghs last night.) So much of the plot of Much Ado About Nothing hinges on antiquated notions of sexuality and women's roles (and men's roles as well). The content of the dialogue, even more than the syntax, seemed so awkward in the contemporary California setting of Whed...more
M.G. Bianco
I had never read this particular play in high school, and now had the opportunity to read it in order to teach my Classical Conversations Challenge III class (11th graders).

Wow, what a great play. I literally laughed out loud at several points. I also had some great conversations about love, mimesis, deception, and wit with my students.

I highly recommend reading this book with the accompanying commentary, Brightest Heaven of Invention: A Christian Guide To Six Shakespeare Plays by Peter Leitha...more
Maria M. Elmvang
Shakespeare isn't usually my cup of tea but "Much Ado About Nothing" is easily the best play I've read by him. It's funny with lots of quick puns. I read it both in English and in Danish in order to get the full value of it - the Danish so I'd actually understand what was going on, and the English in order to enjoy the puns! Something interesting that I wasn't aware of - originally 'Nothing' and 'Noting'(i.e. overhearing) meant the same, so the title is really "Much Ado About Noting", which make...more
Jacob Aitken
Peter Leithart suggests that in understanding “Nothing” one should draw a circle. Inside the circle is “reality.” Outside the circle is anything that is possible but having not actually happened yet. In that case it is “nothing.” They are situations that do not correspond (as of yet) to reality. Benedict and Beatrice are told that the one loves the other, although this is not true. They then base their actions on these inaccurate reports.

Because of this, we see that ethics follows epistemology....more
Jpablobr
Awww! hah

This is really a great and very entertain piece of work from Shakespeare. In a way, it kind of reminded me of Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest" mostly because of all the zingers, the witty banter and the well-crafted insult, but with the characteristic Shakespeare tenderness. I'm really glad I finally got around this one.

The other thing which was also a great surprise, is that since I read it while watching the 2012 movie adaptation, mostly since I needed it to kind of wor...more
Steven Walle
What can I say? William Shakespeare is a Master with words. If you have never read any Shakespeare I suggest you start with this one. Easy to understand, funny as heck, and deep at the same time. I will not tell yyou what it is about. Open the book and let it take you in and change you. Be Blessed.
Ahmad
‎Much ado about nothing : a comedy, William‬ ‎Shakespeare (1564-1616)‬
Characters:A boy, Hero, Ursula, Antonio, Don Pedro, Beatrice, Claudio, Benedick, Don John, Leonato, Dogberry, Friar Francis, Verges, Magaret, Balthazar, Borachio, Conrade, A Sexton, The Watch, Innogen
Abstract:The action is set in Sicily, where Don Pedro, Prince of Aragon, has recently defeated his half-brother, the bastard Don John, in a military engagement. Apparently reconciled, they return to the capital, Messina, as guests...more
Ishita
"It was so, nor 'twas not so,
But indeed; it is so. God forbid it should be so."
Wow. This book was exactly what u'd expect of a Shakespeare to be. Brilliant.
The writing was extraordinary. Beautiful. The language, the style of Shakespeare easily distinguished and duly embraced !
Each one of his books, even the ones based on the same plot, are soo different from each, it's amazing ! The phrases, epitaphs and puns were soo clever and so beautifully written that they could not but get to you.
This play...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Alternate book cover 3 15 Aug 04, 2014 12:06PM  
Should Hero gone back to Claudio? 37 114 Jul 29, 2014 06:12AM  
Elk Grove 360 Boo...: Sacramento Shakespeare Festival 2 7 Jul 08, 2014 02:54PM  
Books2Movies Club: 2014/05 - Much Ado About Nothing 10 16 Jun 07, 2014 01:12PM  
Joss Whedon Makes Much Ado Movie 17 105 Feb 24, 2014 08:03PM  
Is there a retelling out there? 2 32 Feb 23, 2014 02:37PM  
Pritzker Summer R...: Young adult 1 1 Aug 20, 2013 10:48PM  
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William Shakespeare (baptised 26 April 1564) was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon" (or simply "The Bard"). His surviving works consist of 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been tr...more
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“Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more,
Men were deceivers ever,-
One foot in sea and one on shore,
To one thing constant never.”
1075 likes
“I can see he's not in your good books,' said the messenger.
'No, and if he were I would burn my library.”
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