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Much Ado About Nothing

4.06  ·  Rating Details ·  177,051 Ratings  ·  2,404 Reviews
Much Ado About Nothing boasts one of Shakespeare's most delightful heroines, most dancing wordplay, and the endearing spectacle of intellectual and social self-importance bested by the desire to love and be loved in return. It offers both the dancing wit of the "merry war" between the sexes, and a sobering vision of the costs of that combat for both men and women. Shakespe ...more
Paperback, Third Series, 368 pages
Published September 26th 2005 by Bloomsbury Arden Shakespeare (first published 1598)
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Vanessa Andujo First read the No Fear version, you can read it free just google 'No Fear Shakespeare' It'll have the original on the left and a 'modern translation'…moreFirst read the No Fear version, you can read it free just google 'No Fear Shakespeare' It'll have the original on the left and a 'modern translation' on the right. After that I also recommend watching the movie (less)

Community Reviews

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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
Aug 11, 2007 Kelly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Bill  Kerwin

I don't think Much Ado ranks with Shakespeare's very 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 too unsympathetic a lover for a non-problem comedy. On the other hand, whenever Beatrice and Benedict are sparri
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
Henry Avila
Dec 30, 2015 Henry Avila rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 Pr ...more
Oct 26, 2013 Jason rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-kindle, reviewed, 2013
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
Jan 26, 2016 Ted rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who thinks Shakespeare's comedies aren't funny
Movie update at bottom

This is the most enjoyable play I’ve yet read in my Shakespeare project. Aside from the Elizabethan words that required me to check the footnotes, it had a very modern feel to it. The complicated plot, the good and bad characters, the denouement, the happy ending all reminded me of light comedies that I’ve seen performed on the modern stage.

The play was probably written in 1598. In my Complete Works it has been placed in between Henry IV Part II and Henry V.

The Introduction
Feb 17, 2010 Bram rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010, the-bard
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
May 16, 2016 Lyn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more,
Men were deceivers ever,-
One foot in sea and one on shore,
To one thing constant never.”

Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare may easily be his most witty work for dialogue.

“He that hath a beard is more than a youth, and he that hath no beard is less than a man. He that is more than a youth is not for me, and he that is less than a man, I am not for him.”

The exchanges between Beatrice and Benedick are ageless. Like many of Shakespeare’s work, this play
Jun 04, 2012 Erin rated it really liked it  ·  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
Nov 02, 2010 Brad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jason Koivu
Jun 02, 2016 Jason Koivu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This was a whole lotta rigmarole about diddly-squat...
jillian nessie
Mar 30, 2015 jillian nessie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites, humour, plays
Even if by some highly unlikely chance you don't happen to like this piece of glorious brilliance, you can at the very least thank the heavens and good old Will Shakespeare for the existence of this gif:

And also this one.

But that's just barely scratching the surface. I don't have any gifs on hand right now to adequately describe the pure sublimity of 1000 perfectly executed puns of varying degrees of ambiguity.

Veronica Bejarano
Leí el libro, vi la película y morí de la risa, me angustié, me puse ansiosa, estuve llena de emociones y eso fue debido a la pluma inteligente y versátil de William Shakespeare. Fue y siempre será una de mis lecturas predilectas, esa que te permite pensar que la vida también puede ser dulce e inevitablemente malvada con situaciones que te dejan perplejo y con un final de ensueño. Como adoro esta obra que es para recordar por muchos años y años y años...
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
Joe Valdez
Apr 22, 2014 Joe Valdez rated it it was amazing  ·  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,
Jun 11, 2010 C. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama, 2010
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
Liz BooksandStuff
May 03, 2016 Liz BooksandStuff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
My favourite of his plays. A guy named Claudio likes Hero, but Benedick doesn’t like Beatrice, then Claudio stops feeling it for Hero, because he feels unfaithfulness has occurred, while Benedick falls for Beatrice. Marriage occurs.
Mar 16, 2013 midnightfaerie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, classics
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
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"?
Alex Swift
May 18, 2016 Alex Swift rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books
Genialna książka, do połknięcia na raz:)
(Hear me rant, or else I could appear not)
act. 1 sc. 2

(Ariya comes to the scene, the certain rolls up. She tips on her shoe, spins her body to balance and still looks elegant)

Pretty much surprised that Shakespeare can make me laugh! His works beckon to me as the Benedick to the Beatrice. I always used to assert that Shakespeare is so overrated, pretentious and misogynistic play writer whose heart is actually elsewhere while everyone's hysterically swooning over him. After reading a modern critiq
King Haddock
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
Ken Moten
Oct 19, 2014 Ken Moten rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have to say, for my first Shakespeare comedy I enjoyed it. Everything was done well and I was kept very much involved with what was going on. Like most people I felt that the "secondary" couple Beatrice and Benedick stole the show with their interactions and crazy-sharped banter between themselves. I also laughed out a few EVERY TIME Dogberry spoke. Nothing to complain about with most of the protagonist although I will say some things about the antagonists:

They...didn't really make in impact.
I’d been hearing about Megan Dansie for a while, so I was pleased to be able to see her splendid production of Much Ado About Nothing at Adelaide Uni during a recent visit. Talking with her pre-performance, I gained an insight into the setting of Shakespeare out of period. I’d always thought it was to satisfy the creative monsters inside directors, but she made the point – obvious, though I’d never thought about it – that it could be about budget. The trappings of Shakespeare in period cost more ...more
Nov 26, 2011 Jonathan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nicole Marie
Such hilarious. Much good.

Basically, everybody should read this beautiful gem.

4.5 stars
Rachel (Kalanadi)
My favorite Shakespeare comedy. I just adore Beatrice and Benedick!
David Sarkies
Aug 03, 2014 David Sarkies rated it it was ok  ·  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,
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
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  • Ten Plays
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  • The Oresteia  (Ορέστεια, #1-3)
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.”
“I can see he's not in your good books,' said the messenger.
'No, and if he were I would burn my library.”
More quotes…