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Much Ado About Nothing by William…
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Much Ado About Nothing (original 1600; edition 1994)

by William Shakespeare

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5,63551757 (4.09)212
Member:empress8411
Title:Much Ado About Nothing
Authors:William Shakespeare
Info:Dover Publications (1994), Paperback, 80 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:Shakespeare, Plays, Classics

Work details

Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare (1600)

  1. 80
    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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English (47)  Spanish (2)  Swedish (1)  German (1)  All languages (51)
Showing 1-5 of 47 (next | show all)
I am not surprised that a tragedy could affect people, no matter how old it was, but I am very surprised that so old a comedy could work so well. I was as moved by this play as I have been by his tragedies. How I regret that it took me so long to read this. ( )
  Coach_of_Alva | Jan 29, 2014 |
My favorite love story and my favorite Shakespeare. I love the relationship between Beatrice and Benedick. ( )
  Emelymac | Jan 15, 2014 |
There are some people that absolutely worship Shakespeare as an absolute genius of his time, and therefore find him immortalized for all of time. Personally, I love his work, and at the time time, I don't. I think I adore his tragedies, but find it hard for myself to truly fall in love with any of his other pieces. Are they enjoyable? Yes, yes they very much are. But they just don't wow me like I expect them to.

That was the case with the famous Much Ado About Nothing, which makes the title quite ironic, don't you think? It was a pleasant read. And as one of Shakespeare's comedies, it did have quite the few entertaining parts. I think it's especially the kind of play you'd want to read if you're looking to sit back, relax, and enjoy some nonsense and chaos that winds up in some expected romance.

To be perfectly honest, while mildly entertaining, as a whole the play only had one or two parts that absolutely had me cracking grins and laughing. And those were scenes not involving any of the main characters, but rather a bumbling side character that ironically ends up being the only capable one in the entire play filled with supposed royals and super intelligent, conniving people! His name is even weird! Dogberry! And yet he's so gung-ho about everything that he does, and he's so passionate, he constantly says the wrong thing even though we all know what he meant, that you can't help but have a good time watching him somehow manage to work his way through all this "serious" crap going on around him!

Ah, but besides him, I can't quite find anyone else worth laughing for. Sure there's our main couple that supposedly hate each other but who we all know are gonna end up together at the end. They're kinda entertaining, especially since as usual Shakespeare's words are loaded with wit and bite. *Chuckles*

Either way, I say this is one to try out. Shakespeare isn't everyone's cup of tea. So don't go off buying it just 'cause a ton of people obsess over the author. Try it out first. If you like it, copies are cheap enough to find. Hope you enjoy! ( )
1 vote N.T.Embe | Dec 31, 2013 |
I really enjoyed reading William Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing." I suspected I would like it, having seen the Kenneth Branaugh movie many years ago... and the play itself did not disappoint.

The play is a lot of "he loves me... he loves me not." With the most interesting characters being Beatrice and Benedick, who hate each other enough that it's got to be love. There are good side plots and the well-work Shakespearean disguise, which actually works fairly well here. ( )
  amerynth | Nov 11, 2013 |
This is a combined summary of the Shakespeare play, and a review of the fall 2013 production at The Old Vic in London that starred Vanessa Redgrave and James Earl Jones, which I saw on 10/15/13.

Much Ado About Nothing, which is believed to have been written between 1598 and 1599, is considered to be one of Shakespeare's best comedies, which combines sharp wit with jealousy, love and honor. The setting is the Sicilian city of Messina, where its governor Leonato, welcomes an army of Spaniards after a successful battle. The soldiers are led by Don Pedro, whose closest companions are Claudio, a young man who has distinguished himself in battle, and Benedick, a witty but cynical bachelor who vows never to marry. Don John, Don Pedro's black hearted brother who has recently gained his way back into his brother's good graces, is also part of the army, along with his friends Borachio and Conrade. Claudio falls hopelessly in love with Hero, Leonato's only child, a lovely and innocent girl who is equally enamored of him, and the two obtain permission to marry. As Don John and his henchmen conspire to disrupt the wedding, others engage in an equally devious plot to unite Benedick and Beatrice, Hero's acid tongued and clever but beautiful cousin, who engage in a near constant battle of wills until each expresses affection for the other.

The Old Vic production stars 75 year old Vanessa Redgrave as Beatrice and 81 year old James Earl Jones as Benedick, in an odd casting of the lovers who are supposed to be much younger. However, the two stars performed brilliantly in their roles, although the supporting cast was almost entirely forgettable. The play was set during World War II, as Don Pedro and his men were part of a U.S. Army division instead of a 16th century Spanish regiment. The performance was also aided by several humorous elements, including several Boy and Girl Scouts that played the roles of Watchmen, and a delightfully decrepit elderly man that performed a hilarious dance routine and played the role of Verges, the assistant to constable Dogberry.

Overall I'd give 3 stars to the supporting cast, and 4 stars to the play as a whole, thanks to the performances by Vanessa Redgrave and James Earl Jones ( )
  kidzdoc | Nov 2, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 47 (next | show all)
I like this book. :)
 

» Add other authors (142 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Shakespeare, Williamprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brooke, C. F. TuckerEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dennis, JohnIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dillon, Janettesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Foakes, R. A.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McEachern, ClaireEditorsecondary 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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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:23:42 -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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