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Much Ado About Nothing By William Shakespeare (1564 – 1616) Essay, Research Paper

Throughout Much Ado About Nothing, Shakespeare

artfully combines comedy with near tragedy. To complete his tapestry of

interwoven plots, the resolution had to be brilliantly contrived. Some

students of Shakespeare believe that, as one of the Bard’s final comedies,

this work inspired within him renewed moral consciousness. And indeed his

tragic dramas from this point on focus on themes of ethical transgression

and human weakness that had served only as fragmented bits of plots in

previous plays.

Much Ado is fraught with allusions to the

symbol of cuckoldry – the horns a husband (Claudio) must wear when his

wife has had an adulterous affair. For Benedick as well, the fear of wearing

“horns” on his head spawns many of his witticisms concerning marriage.

Often in Shakespeare’s comedies, a strong

woman such as Beatrice will at some point don men’s clothing, as a sign

of strength and equality in a man’s world. However, Beatrice uses only

her wit to protect her – a more than ample weapon. Men flee her cruel tongue

as though it were a drawn “sword” or a “ferocious lion.” The plot includes

suggestions of violence, treachery and sorrow throughout; but, in the end,

the schemes and threats amount merely to “much ado about nothing.”

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