Presentation on theme: "A Comedy By William Shakespeare First printed as a play in 1623"— Presentation transcript:
1 A Comedy By William Shakespeare First printed as a play in 1623 Much Ado About NothingA Comedy By William ShakespeareFirst printed as a play in 1623
2 Background Information Set in the town of Messina in Sicily, Italy.Tragicomedy or Comedy: happy ending with the potential for ending in tragedyThe five acts follow two pairs of lovers. Romance between Claudio and Hero forms the main plot, the action is in fact mostly concerned with their counterparts, Benedick and Beatrice, whose love-hate relationship develops over the course of the play.
4 Nothing or Noting- a quadruple entendre Nothing was pronounced as noting or observingClaudio:“Didst thou note the daughter of Signor Leonato?’Benedick: “I noted her not, but I looked on her.”Noting also an allusion to musical notes (stop arguing and make music).Most obvious meaning of the title being that there is a great to do being made over nothingNoting her- a playful allusion to the titleNoting: or if thou wilt hold argument, do it in notes
5 4th meanings of “noting” “No thing” – or a vulgar term during Shakespeare’s time for a woman.Innuendo and bawdy language is part of the humor in this play.Puns – words that look alike but have different meanings“A man to a man: stuffed with all honorable virtues … he is no less than a stuffed man.”
6 Comedy – Word playMalapropism: misusing words ridiculously; confusion of words that are similar in sound.Ex: oderous for odiousDogberry: “You are thought here to be the most senseless and fit man for the constable of the watch…(sensible).
7 Prose rather than verse Most of the characters speak in proseVerse spoken by the young lovers: Claudio and HeroVerse spoken by those in authority: Leonato (governor) and Friar Francis (priest).Verse expresses their lofty feelings of loveLeonato and Friar – expresses their formality of their roles –governor and priest
8 Themes Road to marriage is often lined with pitfalls and impediments People often wear masks to hide their true feelingsAll is not what it seemsLove is NOT blindLove IS blindA woman’s chastity is a treasure no man should possess except in marriage