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Much Ado About Nothing by William…
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Much Ado About Nothing (original 1600; edition 1931)

by William Shakespeare

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6,80862541 (4.08)241
Member:CelesteM
Title:Much Ado About Nothing
Authors:William Shakespeare
Info:Cambridge University Press
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:plays, Elizabethan

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Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare (1600)

  1. 90
    Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (Shuffy2)
    Shuffy2: Beatrice and Benedick and Lizzie and Darcy- there are some similarties! This is my favorite of Shakespeare's comedies! Two characters who love to spar with words, 2 couples who love each other, and a bad guy! Perfect mix...
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Showing 1-5 of 58 (next | show all)
I'm surprised that I haven't commented on this one after a previous reading, as it's one of my very favorites. Though I'll admit that the Claudio/Hero plot is pretty infuriating, Beatrice and Benedick have more than enough charm to compensate for Claudio's shallow, opportunistic fickleness and Hero's pathetic lack of spunk. B&B are easily my favorite pair of lovers in Shakespeare – witty, sensitive, thoughtful, complex... just utterly delightful. And this time I had Marjorie Garber's excellent piece to point out some things I'd missed up til now. My favorite new tidbit – not important but a fun, “insider” joke (as in, Shakespeare's original audience would have appreciated it) was about the malapropism spouting Dogberry...
”The role of Dogberry was originally played by Will Kemp, the same actor who played Bottom in A Midsummer Night's Dream, and we might imagine that spectators would make this connection. Dogberry/Kemp has already be “writ down an ass,”with equal insouciant triumph, in Shakespeare's earlier play.”

Garber also explains the connection between “nothing” and “noting,” which I'd previously not “noted.” (the Folger edition also comments on this, saying “There is some evidence that 'nothing' and 'noting' were pronounced alike in Shakespeare's day. If so, this word is yet another pun on 'nothing,' and the title of the play itself could be heard as 'Much Ado about Noting.'”) She elaborates on this a bit, highlighting some of the many places where “noting” is significant. Just another detail that helped me enjoy the play even more.

I listened to the Arkangel audio performance while I read, which is, as always, well done, though perhaps lacking the intensity and sparkle that I want with some of this dialogue. Also, I watched (for the umpteenth time) the Tate/Tennant performance, which is my favorite, though the Thompson/Branagh is also brilliant and wonderful (and might be my favorite if I'd just watched it), and I enjoyed the Whedon too. Today I'm planning to watch the Shakespeare Retold version, which I've never seen, but the others in the series have been good, so I have high hopes for this one. Did I mention that this is my favorite of the comedies? ( )
  meandmybooks | Jun 18, 2017 |
Two sets of loves, one tricked into and the other tricked out of - the schemes both work, to their extents. It is, basically, much ado about nothing. ( )
  J9Plourde | Jun 13, 2017 |
Charles II wrote "Benedick and Beatrice" beside the title of the play in his copy of the Second Folio, as I have also done where Much Ado is inscribed on my heart. ( )
  MeditationesMartini | Jan 11, 2017 |
The Things and the Nothings: "Much Ado About Nothing" by William Shakespeare, Sylvan Barnet, David L. Stevenson Published 1989.
 
 
NB: Read in tandem with the Branagh, Whedon and BBC’s versions. This review draws extensively from my reading of the three movies, as well as from my re-reading of the play.
 
Let’s get this out of the way first. “Much Ado about Nothing” is one of my favourite Shakespeare’s plays.
 
Each time I re-read it, I always feel Shakespeare uses it as part of the macho banter in the male-dominated culture of this soldier band of brothers, but it also has a serious side in creating a sense of male insecurity and mistrust of women.
 
The entire play is underlaid with mistrust of women- Benedick's first line is, "were you in doubt, sir, that you asked her?" Leonato's jest lightly plays with the stereotype of the unfaithful wife and the masculine fear of raising another man's son and Benedick immediately takes him up on it. I think Shakespeare is creating a cast of men who are very much in a male only world and struggle to trust women on any level. It's notable that Don John is a known quantity and yet both Claudio and Don Pedro are quick to believe their eyes and fall for his trap, even though they themselves have just set a similar trap for Benedick and Beatrice and might be expected to stop and think how easily such a thing could be faked. Leonato immediately believes his daughter is corrupt, though only a second's reflection should make him realize that he (and Beatrice) could not have been unaware of a "thousand" midnight meetings between Hero and her imagined swain.
 
The rest of this review can be found elsewhere. ( )
  antao | Dec 10, 2016 |
Great fun. ( )
  ramon4 | Nov 23, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 58 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (124 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Shakespeare, Williamprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brooke, C. F. TuckerEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Craft, KinukoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dennis, JohnIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dillon, Janettesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Foakes, R. A.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gray, Henry DavidEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McEachern, ClaireEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Newcomer, Alphonso G.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Shaw, ByamIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stevenson, David L.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Trenery, Grace R.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wright, Louis B.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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I learn in this letter that Don Pedro of Aragon comes this night to Messina.
Quotations
He wears his faith but as the fashion of his hat.
Silence is the perfectest herald of joy: I were but little happy, if I could say how much.
I thank God I am as honest as any man living that is an old man and no honester than I.
What a deformed thief this fashion is.
Is it not strange that sheep's guts should hale souls out of men's bodies?
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Disambiguation notice
This work is for the COMPLETE "Much Ado About Nothing" ONLY. Do not combine this work with abridgements, adaptations or "simplifications" (such as "Shakespeare Made Easy"), Cliffs Notes or similar study guides, or anything else that does not contain the full text. Do not include any video recordings. Additionally, do not combine this with other plays.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0743482751, Mass Market Paperback)

Folger Shakespeare Library

The world's leading center for Shakespeare studies

Each edition includes:

• Freshly edited text based on the best early printed version of the play

• Full explanatory notes conveniently placed on pages facing the text of the play

• Scene-by-scene plot summaries

• A key to famous lines and phrases

• An introduction to reading Shakespeare's language

• An essay by an outstanding scholar providing a modern perspective on the play

• Illustrations from the Folger Shakespeare Library's vast holdings of rare books

Essay by Gail Kern Paster

The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., is home to the world's largest collection of Shakespeare's printed works, and a magnet for Shakespeare scholars from around the globe. In addition to exhibitions open to the public throughout the year, the Folger offers a full calendar of performances and programs.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:05:29 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Features information on Shakespeare's life and world, a history of notable productions of this famous comedy, and new dramatic criticism.

(summary from another edition)

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140714804, 0141012307

Sourcebooks MediaFusion

An edition of this book was published by Sourcebooks MediaFusion.

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