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Much Ado About Nothing

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  223,752 ratings  ·  4,064 reviews
In Much Ado About Nothing, Shakespeare includes two quite different stories of romantic love. Hero and Claudio fall in love almost at first sight, but an outsider, Don John, strikes out at their happiness. Beatrice and Benedick are kept apart by pride and mutual antagonism until others decide to play Cupid.
Paperback, Folger Shakespeare Library Edition, 246 pages
Published 2004 by Simon Schuster (first published 1598)
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Chelsea Yes, I first read it as a teen and it's still one of my favorite Shakespeare plays. Shakespeare is meant to be performed, so in addition to reading it…moreYes, I first read it as a teen and it's still one of my favorite Shakespeare plays. Shakespeare is meant to be performed, so in addition to reading it, try to watch a performance- either local or the 1993 movie. (less)

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Average rating 4.06  · 
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 ·  223,752 ratings  ·  4,064 reviews

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May 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Bill Kerwin
May 12, 2007 rated it really liked it

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
Ahmad Sharabiani
‎Much Ado About Nothing : a comedy, William‬ ‎Shakespeare (1564-1616)

Much Ado About Nothing is a comedy by William Shakespeare thought to have been written in 1598 and 1599, as Shakespeare was approaching the middle of his career.

The play was included in the First Folio, published in 1623. By means of "noting" (which, in Shakespeare's day, sounded similar to "nothing" as in the play's title, and which means gossip, rumour, and overhearing), Benedick and Beatrice are tricked into confessing thei
Jul 19, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hey nonny, nonny! <--whatever that means, William.


This is one that I've read before but I thought it would be cool to listen to the full cast audiobook.
Definitely worth it.
Just rewatched the 1993 movie, which is also worth it, but for a different reason.
Keanu Reeves + Shakespeare = Unintentionally Hilarious!


Alright. This is one of those stories that hold up, stands the test of time, and is still generally enjoyable. And it's from the late 1500s early 1600s, right?
Now I know I can occasionally co
Elle (ellexamines)
here I am reviewing this play exactly 420 years since it came out.... it's what Beatrice and Benedick would've wanted

So... the thing is. This is, in all honesty, the play that got me into Shakespeare. I saw that Kenneth Branagh / Emma Thompson movie of it when I was maybe eight years old and I loved it so much (although I will point out that no adaptation has really understood the vibe of these characters so well as the David Tennant / Catherine Tate edition), and so that's why you can hate on t
Henry Avila
Apr 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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 Prince's army and a f ...more
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
May 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: play, bingo-2016, classics
Much Ado about Nothing, written in 1598, interweaves the story of two couples. The more interesting and definitely more amusing one is Benedick and Beatrice, who apparently have a rocky romance in their past history.


But now they devote all of their energy in their interactions to insulting each other as wittily as possible, each trying to one-up the other.


Beatrice wins most of the time.

The other romance is between Claudio, a count and military friend of Benedick's, and Beatrice's cousin Hero, a
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
Sean Barrs
I saw an absolutely brilliant version of this play today at Shakespeare’s Globe in London. It was Mexican themed, full of dancing, gunshots, high racing emotions and many moments of farcical humour. All in all, it was a great production of an imperfect play.

If I’m ever critical of Shakespeare’s works it’s because I know how excellent Shakespeare can be. The Tempest is one of the best things ever written in the English language. Similarly, Richard II is pure poetry, beautiful and powerful, but i
In the 1906 preface to The Portrait of a Lady, Henry James described the book as ‘an ado about Isabel Archer’. That reference caught my attention, and since I'd never read Shakespeare’s 'Much Ado', and since I love to follow even the vaguest of book trails, I browsed my bookstore’s Shakespeare shelves as soon as I had an opportunity. Like most of you, I’d read some of the plays for study purposes but I’d never bought a Shakespeare play for pleasure. In my innocence, I presumed buying Shakespeare ...more
3 of 5 stars to William Shakespeare's play Much Ado About Nothing. We read this play in my 9th or 10th grade English course as a comparison to his more popular plays such as Macbeth, Othello, Romeo & Juliet and Hamlet, as well as something different from his historical fiction plays about various kings and queens. It was an opportunity to see his brilliance in writing something different and basically... about nothing. Well not really nothing, but you get the drift.

It was a dec
✨    jay   ✨
its been 420 years but Benedick and Beatrice are still That Couple actual enemies to lovers excellence

This is probably my favourite Shakespeare play I have seen yet. I read the script while also watching the filmed Globe performance and like .. its genuinely still laugh out loud funny. The Claudio storyline is annoying, but Hero is such a better character than Desdemona who has a similar plot line - Beatrice and Benedick are funny and sweet, and like I love them both.

This deserves a really fun
Jan 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who thinks Shakespeare's comedies aren't funny
Movie review 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
Nov 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed, 2013, for-kindle
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

Not much a review as some disjointed impressions from one of my favourite Shakespeare's comedies. Much ado about nothing is a display of wit and humour, from squabbles and cutting retorts between Beatrice and Benedick to the unrepeatable, full of malapropisms and nonsenses, humor presented by the the chief of the citizen-police in Messina, Dogberry and his bumbling sidekicks.

In short: prince of Aragon, Don Pedro after defeating his half-brother Don John returns home, and surrounded by his court
Feb 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“I do love nothing in the world so well as you. Is not that strange?”

"Much Ado About Nothing" is one of Shakespeare's perennial crowd-pleasers and pops up in performance all the time in classical theatre companies. The reason is simple; it is a fun and witty play. It has some of the best verbal wordplay in all of Shakespeare, and it boasts the only middle aged lovers in all of the Bard's work, the lovely Beatrice and Benedick. This pair of former lovers bicker and snipe at each other with such i
Oct 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
The most important thing to know about this play is that "nothing" used to be slang for vaginas. No, I know, you're like "This sounds like one of those things that people say because it's funny but then you look it up and it's totally not true," right? But it is true. So. Rather A Pickle About Pussies is what we're talking about here.

The plot of this play, which is called A Bunch of Bother About Beavers, or Very Vexed About Vajayjays, is, oh god, who cares, everyone is confused and then they get
Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂
I'll be editing this review next week, as I'm going to the Pop Up Globe in Auckland to see this play.

This is the final season for Auckland so I am really looking forward to it.

I'm also going to Romeo and Juliet, but I'm not intending to reread this, as I have seen the Zeffirelli & Luhrmann versions multiple times. One of my favourite plays, two of my favourite films.

As far as a reading experience goes - a few of the characters were painful! In particular Don Juan, Claudio & Hero. And Act III wa
Feb 16, 2010 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
Jan 29, 2012 rated it liked it
“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
Kaylin (The Re-Read Queen)
4 Stars

It's old-school hate-to-love trope with Shakespeare's awesome word-play.

...and also 16th Century misogyny, because what's more funny than a father swearing he'll kill his daughter if she's not a virgin?
Feb 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is yet another interesting Shakespearean play in the comedy genre. This play has one saucy and sharp tongued woman in the character of Beatrice. This is quite a surprise for me, for I never expected to see such a spirited female character in a Shakespearean play.

The story is primarily based on the theme of love. There are two love stories here: one between Claudio and Hero and the other between Beatrice and Benedict. The prominence is given to the former love story as the story is basicall
Mar 27, 2008 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

2019 November:
Had to read this for grad school LOL upping it slightly to 4.5 stars because I'm becoming very fond of this play from doing it so often

2019 January:
I had to read this one for a class this winter semester and I still really love this play, like I said before, its not my favorite and I think I enjoyed it more when I was in high school, but this was a lot of fun especially watching it alongside and comparing it to the 2012 movie adaptation. I adore Beatrice and Benedick stil
Jul 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
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 much
Oct 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
One day I may find the time and the energy to prepare some well thought out, elegantly composed, insightful and informative reviews of Shakespeare’s greatest plays – affording them with at least a modicum of the respect that they justly deserve. In the meantime – I am offering a few very quickly thought through ideas on what are undoubtedly the greatest (English language) literary works for the stage ever written.

The majority of Shakespeare’s 37 or 38 plays (depending on who you ask) are imbued
Z. F.
Leonato: Well, niece, I hope to see you one day fitted with a husband.
Beatrice: Not till God make men of some other metal
than earth. Would it not grieve a woman to be
overmastered with a piece of valiant dust? To make
an account of her life to a clod of wayward marl?
No, uncle, I'll none. Adam's sons are my brethren,
and truly I hold it a sin to match in my kindred.

Since all the other reviewers do, I guess I should mention up top that "nothing" in Shakespeare's day was also slang for "vagina." Clear
Apr 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
I liked this play a lot. I loved the banter between Beatrice and Benedick. This play stands good in terms of having a solid plot and has enough wit to make me happy😊.

There are 2 couples in the story. Claudio and Hero (yes, the female lead is named "Hero" guys!) And there is Beatrice and Benedick who hates each other, and would rather die not loved and lonely rather than fall in love. Will Claudio marry Hero? Will Beatrice and Benedick fall for each other?

What caught my attention in this play is
Mar 11, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: shakespeare, 2017, drama
“I will live in thy heart, die in thy lap, and be buried in thy

― William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing, Act 5, Scene 2


1. (indefinite) no thing; not anything, as of an implied or specified class of things: I can give you nothing
2. no part or share: to have nothing to do with this crime
3. a matter of no importance or significance: it doesn't matter, it's nothing
4. Elizabethan slang for "vagina", evidently derived from the pun of a woman having "nothing" between her
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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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73 likes · 21 comments
“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…