Erin's Reviews > Much Ado About Nothing

Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare
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's review
Jul 04, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: bragging-rights, plays, big-romance, brings-the-lolz, classics, fictionational-love
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 sums up this play... people putting way too much stock in second-hand information.

There are two (possibly three) main plots, including a messed up marriage between Hero and Claudio, which is nearly thwarted by Don John, the evilish villain who ruins other people's lives to distract himself from his own misery. Also featured are the comically inarticulate policemen-types, Dogberry and Verges.

The real center of the story, at least in the public's eye, was always the love-hate relationship between Beatrice and Benedick. Their journey is one that's seemingly copied in crappy books (adult or YA) even today! They begin by antagonizing each other, but by extremely contrived and insufficient means somehow end the play in each other's arms. The biggest difference is that Shakespeare is awesome and the present-day authors are just struggling. It helps that the silly game of eavesdropping isn't the true reason for Benedick and Beatrice to finally admit their feelings; it's hinted they had a romantic past and are probably still holding feelings for each other.

It's also still funny, despite being written hundreds of years ago. I find that so surprising-- although I'm not sure why, this isn't the first Shakespeare I've read. What especially tickled my funny bone was Dogberry's continual struggle with the English language. For example, mixing up "odorous" for "odious", "exclamation" for "acclamation", and "comprehended" for "apprehended".

My favorite part was the very end, when Beatrice and Benedick were in the process of admitting they loved each other. Beatrice is talking, insulting Benedick a little as per usual, and he just goes: "Peace, I will stop your mouth" and gives her a big ol' smooch. Absolutely awesome.

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06/18/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Savannah I prefer 'Sigh No More' by the London cast of the play (or the extra track sung by Catherine Tate [Beatrice] and David Tennant [Benedick])

Yakub Medici Mumford and Sons. Excuse me while I vomit....

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