Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Much Ado About Nothing” as Want to Read:
Much Ado About Nothing
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Read Book* *Different edition

Much Ado About Nothing

by
4.06  ·  Rating details ·  198,454 ratings  ·  3,188 reviews
Much Ado is a romantic comedy that revolves around obstacles presented to two young lovers as well as a merry war of the sexes.
Paperback, Folger Shakespeare Library Edition, 246 pages
Published 2004 by Simon Schuster (first published 1598)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Much Ado About Nothing, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Rivalic Just because it's Shakespeare doesn't mean all the plays will have the same difficulty. For example my favorite play of his is Macbeth which is more…moreJust because it's Shakespeare doesn't mean all the plays will have the same difficulty. For example my favorite play of his is Macbeth which is more difficult for a teenager to follow. Much Ado is easy to follow with a basic plot, and shorter monologues that sometimes lose us half way through.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.06  · 
Rating details
 ·  198,454 ratings  ·  3,188 reviews


Filter
 | 
Sort order
Madeline
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
...more
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
...more
Kelly
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
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
May 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bingo-2016, classics, play
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.

description

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.

description

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
...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
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 their l
...more
Sean Barrs the Bookdragon
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
...more
James
Review
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 decent
...more
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 Pr ...more
Fionnuala
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
Ted
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
...more
Jason
Nov 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-kindle, 2013, reviewed
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
Agnieszka

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
...more
Sawsan
Sep 21, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
المكائد والمؤامرات والتَخَفي, مفردات واضحة في مسرحيات شكسبير
ضجة فارغة" مسرحية كوميدية, والحوار فيها لطيف وفكاهي
مؤامرة لمنع زواج اثنين من الأحبة, تنتهي بمعرفة الحقيقة وكشف المتآمرين
بنيديك وبياتريس من أكثر الشخصيات الجذابة في المسرحية
يدور بينهما جدال ساخر ومشاكسات ظريفة تتحول في النهاية لاهتمام وحب
Alex
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
...more
Bram
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
Lyn
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
...more
Erin
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 m
...more
AleJandra
Apr 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: clasicos, funny
Primer libro de Shakespeare que leo en inglés.
Y wow es otro mundo, absurdamente genial o genialmente absurdo.

Una historia divertidísima, simple y muy entretenida.

description
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?
Piyangie
Feb 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: brit-lit, plays
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
...more
Brad
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
...more
James
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
...more
✨    jamieson   ✨
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
...more
David Sarkies
Jul 26, 2013 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,
...more
Darwin8u
Mar 11, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, shakespeare, drama
“I will live in thy heart, die in thy lap, and be buried in thy
eyes"

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

description

Nothing
/ˈnʌθɪŋ/
pronoun
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
...more
Kate
Apr 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
4/5stars

2019:
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 still

2018:
this one was a reread for me, and though I didn't enjoy it as much as I had when I studied it back in high school, I still really loved it! Beatrice and
...more
Anastasia
Nov 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
4.5/5 stars

I ended up reading this book I my Honors English class. Since I absolutely love Shakespeare and I haven't read or watched any of his comedies I was very excited going into Much Ado About Nothing. The characters were hilarious and I absolutely loved every second of reading and watching the actors, I watched a version with David Tennant as Benedick (he was amazing), portray them. If you are new to Shakespeare I would highly recommend this play to be your first. The language isn't ov
...more
 amapola
Nov 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lett-inglese, teatro
Quando Shakespeare gioca

https://youtu.be/glnOybkdU5M

Sotto un sole abbagliante Shakespeare mette in scena un tourbillon di passioni, intrighi, giochi, errori. Dialoghi brillanti, vivaci, arguti. Commedia sui malintesi dell’amore e perfetto spaccato dell’animo umano.

https://youtu.be/-pq-qGgByt8

Molti amano le tragedie di Shakespeare, anch’io, ma poi mi rendo conto che, in fondo in fondo, preferisco le commedie.

“Il silenzio è l'araldo più perfetto della gioia: sarei ben poco felice se fossi capace d
...more
Mayy Wilde-Shakespeare
"I can see he's not in your good books,' said the messenger.
'No, and if he were I would burn my library."

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Unfortunately, while I was at a amusement park with my friends OF COURSE we decided to go on a goddamn water slide. The people behind us were splashing us with water. My bag was not water proof. Neither are my books. Long story short: This book is ruined.

I am working my way through all of Shakespeare’s works and I think it’s safe to say that I am having the time of my life.

To be honest,
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7)
  • Lord of the Flies
  • Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, #2)
  • Anna Karenina
  • Edward II
  • Arcadia
  • Noises Off
  • An Ideal Husband
  • You Can't Take it With You
  • The Handmaid's Tale
  • The Misanthrope
  • Master Class
  • A Wrinkle in Time (Time Quintet, #1)
  • Cyrano de Bergerac
  • Major Barbara
  • Sunday in the Park With George
  • Amadeus
  • The Caretaker & The Dumb Waiter
32,986 followers
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
“Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more,
Men were deceivers ever,-
One foot in sea and one on shore,
To one thing constant never.”
1566 likes
“I can see he's not in your good books,' said the messenger.
'No, and if he were I would burn my library.”
897 likes
More quotes…