One of Shakespeare’s most witty and enjoyable comedies, Much Ado About Nothing is a play that explores courtship, romance and marriage through a number of relationships. Most famously that of the irrepressible Beatrice and Benedick as they trade their wits against one another, criticising the notion of marriage, yet slowly falling in love with one another as they do so.
This play is part of my required reading for my English Literature and Language A level. I was apprehensive about having to read this, as my past experience with Shakespeare plays have been bad. I dislike the sobriety of them, and the over the top death toll. This is the first play however which I would happily read again.
Much Ado About Nothing is a comedy and although I rarely chuckled, I really enjoyed it. The treachery, disguise and witty banter made what should have been hard to read, easy to follow and interesting. My favourite characters were definitely Beatrice and Benedick. Their progression from disgust towards marriage, to engaged to one another was definitely the best part of the play. I love how they are both intelligent yet proud, quick witted yet stubborn. Beatrice’s independence and dominance make her a fantastic feminist in times where these qualities were seen as comical due to their unlikeliness. As for the other characters, I thought that Dogberry was pointless and deserved his title of ‘ass’ and that Claudio turned from a sweet to a horrible man. His treatment of Hero was over the top, and completely ignorant to her feelings.
Much Ado About Nothing has made me realise that maybe Shakespeare isn’t as bad or as boring as plays such as King Lear have led me to believe.
Do you have any suggestions for other Shakespeare plays you think I might like?