Much Ado About Nothing (Penguin Shakespeare)

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9780141012308: Much Ado About Nothing (Penguin Shakespeare)

A dazzling display of William Shakespeare's fondness for wit and wordplay, Much Ado About Nothing is a high-spirited comedy, edited with notes by R.A. Foakes, and an introduction by Janet Dillon. 'Some, Cupid kills with arrows, some, with traps' Proud, vivacious Beatrice and a high-spirited rake Benedick both claim that they are determined never to marry. But when good-hearted mischief-maker Don Pedro tricks them into believing that each harbours secret feelings for the other, Beatrice and Benedick 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, famously adapted by Kenneth Branagh in a film starring Keanu Reeves and Emma Thompson. This book contains a general introduction to Shakespeare's life and Elizabethan theatre, a separate introduction to Much Ado About Nothing, a chronology, suggestions for further reading, an essay discussing performance options on both stage and screen, and a commentary. William Shakespeare (1564-1616) was born to John Shakespeare and Mary Arden some time in late April 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon. He wrote about 38 plays (the precise number is uncertain), many of which are regarded as the most exceptional works of drama ever produced, including Romeo and Juliet (1595), Henry V (1599), Hamlet (1601), Othello (1604), King Lear (1606) and Macbeth (1606), as well as a collection of 154 sonnets, which number among the most profound and influential love-poetry in English. If you enjoyed Much Ado About Nothing, you might like As You Like It, also available in Penguin Shakespeare. 'How is it possible that Shakespeare understood the human heart so well?' Saskia Reeves

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Book Description:

This is the first edition of Much Ado About Nothing focusing wholly on the play in performance. Shifting trends in the production of this popular drama are analysed in relation to the culture of each period since Shakespeare's time, with particular attention to gender issues. A commentary alongside the text recreates in lively detail interpretations of each passage in a variety of British, American, Canadian and other productions. An essential resource for students, teachers and performers, this is an illuminating book for theatregoers.

From the Publisher:

Set in a courtly world of masked revels and dances, this play turns on the archetypal story if a lady falsely accused of unfaithfulness, spurned by her bridegroom, and finally vindicated and reunited with him. Villainy, schemes, and deceit threatens to darken the brilliant humor and sparkling wordplay--but the hilarious counterplot of a warring couple, Beatrice and Benedick, steals the scene as the two are finally tricked into admitting their love for each other in Shakespeare's superb comedy of manners.

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Shakespeare, William (Author)/ Dillon, Janette (Introduction by)
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