Shakespeare, William Much Ado About Nothing

ISBN 13: 9780140623734

Much Ado About Nothing

 
9780140623734: Much Ado About Nothing

A vivacious woman and a high-spirited man both claim that they are determined never to marry. But when their friends trick them into believing that each harbours secret feelings for the other, they begin to question whether their witty banter and sharp-tongued repartee conceals something deeper. Schemes abound, misunderstandings proliferate and matches are eventually made in this sparkling and irresistible comedy.

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Review:

Like Love's Labour's Lost, Much Ado about Nothing shows Shakespeare moving into a more complex and darker terrain through his exploration of an apparently harmless comical romance. The play revolves around the adventures of the two gallants Claudio and Benedick at the court of Sicily. Claudio falls in love with the governor's daughter Hero, and is eager for his more misanthropic friend Benedick to also find love. Benedick is introduced to the fiery, independent Beatrice, and sparks soon fly as they banter with each other in a more wittier version of Kate and Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew. Beatrice has some wonderful ripostes to marriage asking why should a woman marry "a clod of wayward marl", whilst Benedick grumbles that "She speaks poniards and every word stabs". Meanwhile, the jealous Don John convinces Claudio that Hero has in fact been unfaithful to him. When Claudio rejects Hero on their wedding day, she faints and is taken for dead. In the hectic final scenes the play moves towards reconciliation between Claudio and Hero, and the tentative admission of the love between Benedick and Beatrice. Famously filmed by Kenneth Branagh in the Tuscan countryside with a cast that included Keanu Reeves, Much Ado about Nothing remains one of Shakespeare's most successful comedies. -- Jerry Brotton.

Review:

"A quite wonderful idea... So blindingly obvious, I can't understand why nobody had thought of it before. I will certainly use the texts myself" Peter Hall"

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