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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
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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