* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Title: Much Ado About Nothing
Author: William Shakespeare
Year I read it: 2004, 2009
One sentence summary: Benedick and Beatrice are engaged in a "merry war" that is turned on its head against the backdrop of their mutual friends, Claudio and Hero, falling in love only to be tested and proved anew.
Interesting fact: It has proven to be quite inspiring: The characters of Beatrice and Benedick are most likely what Austen based Elizabeth and Darcy on. Also, the lyrics of Mumford and Son's "Sigh no more" come almost entirely from this play.
Three reasons to read it:
- It's one of Shakespeare's wittiest, most quotable plays. Both dialogues and monologues are superb!
- Much Ado features some of the best romantic and dramatic tension I've seen on stage or screen! The romance between Benedick and Beatrice is charged... with a gamut of emotions. Claudio's accusation of Hero, the subsequent scene with her father, Claudio's repentance - these weightier scenes within the comedy emphasize the narratives high stakes.
- In spite of the aforementioned high stakes, this is one of the funniest of Shakespeare's comedies. The lines, the plot, the characters - they blend to form one of the most delightful plays. [This is likely why it's had so many successful adaptations]
- Shakespeare plays are not PG. They can't truly be told as PG. If you are offended by
real lifenon-PG material, this play is not for you.
"Beatrice love me? Why?"
"Shall quips and sentences and these paper bullets of the brain awe a man from the career of his humor? No, the world must be peopled. When I said I would die a bachelor, I did not think I should live till I were married."
"Ha. 'Against my will I am sent to bid you come into dinner.' There's a double meaning in that."
"For man is a giddy thing, and this is my conclusion"
"Silence is the perfectest herald of joy: I were but little happy, if I could say how much. Lady, as you are mine, I am yours: I give away myself for you and dote upon the exchange."
"Hero itself can blot out Hero's virtue."
"I love you with so much of my heart that none is left to protest."
"Prince, thou art sad. Get thee a wife!"
"I was not born under a rhyming planet, nor I cannot woo in festival terms."
"Serve God, love me, and mend."