I finished “Much Ado About Nothing” while at work this afternoon—in my defense it was raining and there was not much else to do. And besides, I only had about 30 total pages left.
I knew I was going to enjoy the play, as it’s my favorite and it simply can’t disappoint. I particularly love the character of Dogberry, the constable, who muddles his words and offers the right timing in his lines. The clowns in all of Shakespeare’s plays are wonderful—Dogberry is just my favorite. Especially in this passage right here:
Officers, what offense have these men done?
Marry, sir, they have committed false report; moreover, they have spoken untruths; secondarily, they are slanders; sixth and lastly, they have belied a lady; thirdly, they have verified unjust things; and, to conclude, they are lying knaves,” (5.1.207-212).
If read that passage aloud, it is much more humorous. I read it to Kyla and Scott while at work today and while they chuckled, I think it was more at my amusement.
There are some other lines that I just love:
I love you with so much of my heart that none is left to protest,” (4.1.282-283).
Shall quips and sentences and these paper bullets of the brain awe a man from the career of his humor?” (2.3.224-226).
I also love the banter between Beatrice and Benedick, especially at the beginning of the play. Their conversations are so witty and it seems as if they just continue to try to get the last sting in.
The reason I love this play so much is the language and the two love stories. On one hand, you have Hero and Claudio. Claudio sees Hero and decides he must marry her, which is all fine and dandy until Don John the Bastard steps in and interrupts their happiness. Claudio and Hero seem to have that typical Shakespearian romance—they meet and fall instantly in love with no real development—not like Beatrice and Benedick, who while still end up together, take a little longer to get there.
I see the relationship between Beatrice and Benedick being just a little more believable than that of Hero and Claudio, just because I know that it takes work to make a relationship succeed.
The only other thing I really want to mention is that I notice a plot device being used in this play that is also used in “Romeo and Juliet.” In both plays, a female character—Hero and Juliet—fake their own death at the advice of a friar. So here is the question I pose: Why are the friars convincing these young women to pretend to be dead? I asked this at work and Nicole and Kyla both said something about the Freudian aspects of the friars manipulating the love and relationships around them. I’m not sure if I agree or not, but I did notice the similarities. I can’t call to mind any other repeats of the same situation in another Shakespeare play, but perhaps you might know of another example.
I just find it interesting that a plot device was used twice. These things amuse me.
I suppose you could say I am making much ado about nothing.
Alas, time to move away from Shakespeare and on to something a little more sinister.