Much Ado About Nothing

Much Ado About Nothing

I did it! I finished reading the first play in my effort to read all of the plays written by Shakespeare, hereafter to be known as the Dramagoon Shakespeare Challenge. I know that I just talked about this yesterday and I only had 14 pages to read but I wanted to be sure that I was going to have a successful start before telling the world about it. For those with extremely short memories, I was reading Much Ado About Nothing.

I started with this play mainly because it is the one Shakespeare Comedy that I have seen performed (live or via movie) the most. I have probably seen Hamlet or Romeo and Juliet more, but I didn’t want to start out with a Tragedy. This play is about two love affairs; that of Claudio and Hero and that of Beatrice and Benedick. By the amount of time they dedicate to each, I would classify Claudio and Hero as the “A” plot and Beatrice and Benedick as the “B” plot.

Of the two parts of this play, I enjoyed the portion with Beatrice and Benedick and wished that it had been emphasized more. They have this apparent mutual disdain for each other that you can totally see right away is the precursor to a closer relationship. I know that “The lady doth protest too much” comes from Hamlet but the phrase is a perfect way to describe the banter between them. I would almost characterize it as a kind of sexual tension. They are such like-able characters that you really root for them to get together in the end.

On the other hand, I am not wild about the story of Claudio and Hero. Okay, I can buy that this guy sees and meets this beautiful young girl and falls in love with her in a relatively short time. All of Claudio’s emotional reversals after that seem so bogus to me. In his worst offense, he has this woman that he plans to marry the next day and he sees her from far away in dim light making amorous advances toward another man. Wouldn’t you march up to her room right then and there and find out what is going on? Claudio doesn’t. Instead he believes what he is told by John the Bastard; a guy that nobody has trusted throughout the entire play and it appears has been on the opposite side of the battle that takes place before the play starts. I mean, come on. If I were Hero, I wouldn’t want to marry this guy who is so fickle with his affections.

All in all, I really enjoyed this play and I am glad that I started out with such a good one. Now that I have a deeper understanding of it, I can’t wait to see it performed on stage again sometime soon. If you have seen it or read it or just have opinions about it, leave me a comment. I would love to discuss it further.

Next up… The Comedy of Errors. Oh great, now I’ve got the “Dromio” rap in my head from The Bomb-itty of Errors. ♪♫ Dromio… Dro… Dro… mio! ♫♪

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