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No Title (Much Ado About Nothing) Essay, Research Paper
4 November 1996
William Shakespeare, the most famous of all English writers, has written many
works. One such work is Much Ado About Nothing, a comedy that includes humor, love,
and deceit. Several incidents in the life of the author influenced him to write this play in
the fashion that he did. These events come from his life and the point in history in which
he lived, thus producing Much Ado About nothing.
Shakespeare’s life has very much to do with the style of his writing as his stories
are from his past experiences. Shakespeare had a life that involved both the good and bad
aspects of love. He was married for a short while, however, the marriage was suspected
to be an unhappy one because he spent much of his later life away from his family.
Shakespeare’s misfortune in love is shown in Much Ado About Nothing when it is said,
“Speak low if you speak love.” (Shakespeare). Contrary to this, the positive side of love
“Friendship is constant in all other things
Save in the office and affairs of love:
Therefore all hearts in love use their own tongues;
Let every eye negotiate itself
And trust no agent.” (Shakespeare)
So let it be known, Shakespeare obviously learned a great deal about love throughout the
course of his life. He learned not only the good, but also the bad, and in this, love plays a
major role in Much Ado About Nothing (Wright 10-13).
Another element used in Much Ado About Nothing is deceit. This deceit involves
a conflict between two brothers in which one wants to keep the other unhappy and unwed.
This conflict is present as it is said, “There’s a skirmish of wit between them.”
(Shakespeare). Shakespeare, in his life, had some deceitful things forced upon him where
he was cheated out of something. He was forced out of school at an early age of fifteen to
help his father financially. Furthermore, he was forced into marrying a women that was
eight years older than himself because she was three months pregnant. In result of his
unsuccessful marriage, it is reason enough for him involving love and deceit as one in this
play. So Shakespeare also understands deceit as he incorporated it into Much Ado About
Nothing (”Shakespeare, William”).
Contrary to love and deceit, Shakespeare uses comedy as the third and final
element of the play. Comedy is what gives Much Ado About Nothing it’s cheerful
happiness and wit that gives this play it’s recognition. Shakespeare had many happy
experiences in his life due to his great success in being a playwright. His success started
with him becoming the top writer of The Chamberlain’s Men, which would later be
renamed The King’s Men. This led to his great career of writing which brought him fame
and fortune, causing him to live and die a happy man (Wright 10-13). The happiness and
clever wit is described like, “Merry as the day is long.” (Shakespeare). All throughout this
play, there is constantly a tone of Comedy although interrupted by scenes of deceitful hate.
This is very similar to the life of William Shakespeare, and it clearly the reason that he
writes in the style he does. All in all, Shakespeare’s ability as a Comedic writer is very
well spoken for and is the reason that he wrote this play.
The elements used in this play as they have happened in Shakespeare’s life are
established in the relationships of the characters of the play. Benedict and Beatrice,
throughout the entire beginning of the play, display love, deceit, and comedy. Beatrice
finds all men to be repulsive, not in the physical sense, but in the psychological sense.
Benedict does not like her attitude and does everything he can to spite her. Through all
this, they both love each other, but both are as stubborn and hard headed as each other
so it is impossible for either one to know this. At a costume party, Benedict tricks
Beatrice into thinking he is someone else by wearing a costume and disguising his voice by
talking with a different accent. Beatrice, not being aware of this, talks badly about
Benedict to whom she thinks is a stranger. Afterwards, Benedict is furious about her
statements and complains to the prince, so everyone else conspires to get them together.
They do this by letting them individually overhear talk of each other loving one another.
When they hear this, they are both very happy and end up telling each other their true
feelings resulting in them getting married at the end of the play. The purpose of telling the
story of Benedict and Beatrice is that their dialogue and actions resemble the tones and
elements of the play, therefore they greatly contribute to what I am proving
Finally, the elements used in Much Ado About Nothing directly coincide with
the events of Shakespeare’s life. The style that he uses comes from his life from birth
to death. In this, it is obvious that Shakespeare experienced love in all it’s aspects, he
experienced deceit in a way, but more minor than others, and also he experienced comedy
from all the happy times he had in his life as do these experiences in the play.
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