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Much Ado About Nothing

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4.06  ·  Rating Details  ·  174,652 Ratings  ·  2,320 Reviews
Set in a courtly world of masked revels and dances, this play turns on the archetypal story if a lady falsely accused of unfaithfulness, spurned by her bridegroom, and finally vindicated and reunited with him. Villainy, schemes, and deceit threatens to darken the brilliant humor and sparkling wordplay--but the hilarious counterplot of a warring couple, Beatrice and Benedic ...more
Paperback, The New Penguin Shakespeare, 174 pages
Published 1968 by Penguin Books (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)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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
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
Kat Stark
Dec 03, 2015 Kat Stark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, literature


Claudio digs Hero. Benedick and Beatrice hate each other. Then, Claudio hates Hero, while Benedick falls in love with Beatrice. And like all comedies, they eventually all pair off in marriage.

This has the best banter EVER. Benedick and Beatrice are one of my favorite Shakespeare couples.

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
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
...more
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
Jason
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
Ted
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
...more
Bram
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
Lyn
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
...more
Erin
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
...more
Brad
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
...more
Caris
Mar 16, 2012 Caris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012, shakespeare
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
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.

4.5/5
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,
...more
C.
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
...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"?
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.
Natalie (Never trust a duck)
BEA AND BEN FOR LIFE Y'ALL! I'LL TAKE DON PEDRO.
midnightfaerie
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
...more
Cassandra
Apr 28, 2016 Cassandra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is for good reason that Benedick and Beatrice are considered the true stars of this play - whenever they verbally spar, the words jump off the page and I loved watching the ping-pong ball go back and forth. This play is quite funny and reads a like a sitcom, which is both its strength and weakness. The strengths I've already mentioned, but unfortunately the "main" plotline involving Pedro, Claudio, and Hero is a little too unbelievable for my taste. No good explanation is given for why Claudi ...more
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:)
notgettingenough
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
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.
...more
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
...more
Jonathan
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
...more
Alayne
Jul 22, 2015 Alayne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews

4/5

¡Me gustó mucho! aunque siento que le faltó algo.

Veamos, Mucho Ruido y Pocas Nueces es una de las comedias más conocidas de Shakespeare (y la primera que leo). Se desarrolla alrededor de 4 personajes importantes; luego el resto importa pero no tanto como los que voy a nombrar:
Claudio y Hero, de cuyo próximo casamiento tratan los primeros actos (alrededor del cual gira el gran conflicto de la obra, que ocurre en los últimos actos); y por otro lado Benedicto y Beatriz, uno amigo de Claudio y l
...more
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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.”
1401 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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