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Group Readings > Much Ado...Act 5, June 17

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message 1: by Candy (new)

Candy | 2636 comments Mod
Discussions of Act 5 for "Much Ado About Nothing" happen here...


message 2: by Jim (new)

Jim | 38 comments That's quite a bit of male belly-bucking at the start of scene 1. And I must say I'm amused by Dogberry's absurd chatter -- "sixth and lastly....thirdly....and to conclude...." Maybe it's a simple old joke, but it does make me smirk.


message 3: by Phil (new)

Phil Jensen | 97 comments Jim wrote: "And I must say I'm amused by Dogberry's absurd chatter -- "sixth and lastly....thirdly....and to conclude...." Maybe it's a simple ..."

That part made me smile more than any of his malapropisms.


message 4: by Phil (new)

Phil Jensen | 97 comments Finished! I am also in Act IV of Othello, and the similarities are compelling.

Both plays emphasize the damage that slander can do to a woman. Hero and Desdemona are essentially defenseless in the face of rumors. In Othello, Shakespeare makes it clear that gender roles put women at an unfair disadvantage.

The only woman who seems above slander is Beatrice, who would clearly cut you to pieces if you talked smack about her. Is Shakespeare saying that a shrewish woman is a strong woman? I have not read The Taming of the Shrew, which would be the obvious reference point.


message 5: by Janice (JG) (new)

Janice (JG) Phil wrote: "Finished! I am also in Act IV of Othello, and the similarities are compelling.

Both plays emphasize the damage that slander can do to a woman. Hero and Desdemona are essentially defenseless in the face of rumors. In Othello, Shakespeare makes it clear that gender roles put women at an unfair disadvantage.

The only woman who seems above slander is Beatrice, who would clearly cut you to pieces if you talked smack about her. Is Shakespeare saying that a shrewish woman is a strong woman? I have not read The Taming of the Shrew, which would be the obvious reference point..."


Interesting points. Women who "talk back," criticize, are aggressive or know-it-all, and are "bossy," are still referred to as bitches, which I guess would be the present day equivalent of a Shakespearean "shrew." It's nice to know S may have been a feminist.


message 6: by P.D.R. (new)

P.D.R. Lindsay (pdrlindsay) Don't forget that Queen Elizabeth I was a strong woman, feared and respected. She enjoyed plays. Can't you just hear her telling the company to put on something with real women?

Seriously though she was a model for Beatrice and those heroines who showed spirit.


message 7: by Janice (JG) (new)

Janice (JG) P.D.R. wrote: "Don't forget that Queen Elizabeth I was a strong woman, feared and respected. She enjoyed plays. Can't you just hear her telling the company to put on something with real women?

Seriously though she was a model for Beatrice and those heroines who showed spirit..."


Yes, of course. And she was my first role model when I was a teen.


message 8: by Phil (new)

Phil Jensen | 97 comments What's with the brutal commentary on marriage in this play? At the end, Benedick says that he will have a staff tipped with horn, and that Claudio will wear gilded horns. This is a way of saying that infidelity is inevitable, but marriage is great anyway? Or am I taking these jokes too seriously? It seems subversive. If someone today put out a movie on the theme of, "Have fun, get married, expect to get cheated on," it would be pushing the envelope pretty hard.


message 9: by Janice (JG) (new)

Janice (JG) Phil wrote: "What's with the brutal commentary on marriage in this play? At the end, Benedick says that he will have a staff tipped with horn, and that Claudio will wear gilded horns. This is a way of saying th..."

I thought it was to get a laugh out of the audience... a bit cynical, a wry commentary on marriage made for profit and / or any other reason that is less than love. Even Beatrice and Benedick were hoodwinked into caring about each other using reverse psychology. The play seems to say marriage is doomed when it is based on meaningless issues.


message 10: by Roger (new)

Roger I think that this play was mostly about double meanings, sexual innuendo, that it was intended as a comedy rather than an actual story. If I were to read it again, I would look more for the double meanings than I had seen the first time.


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