Much Ado About Nothing

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 11th grade February 2008

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In the course of Literature one comes across different types of plays, primarily Comedies and Tragedies. Each of these types is marked by highly distinguishing characteristics. As a result, from a thorough analysis of the play Much Ado About Nothing," by William Shakespeare, it can be concluded that it is indeed a Comedy because of its characteristics which associate it with a Comedy. These characteristics include the plays title, the use of figurative masking, the use of deception as a means to an end (there Machiavelli again), and lastly the way the play itself concludes. One indication that strongly supports the assertion that Much Ado About Nothing is a Comedy is the title--in comedies the title of the play is supposed to support a proverb that represents an ongoing theme in the play. In Shakespeare's time the term "nothing" in the title would be read as noting. This makes a lot of sense because throughout the play the characters would be taking notes, observing, and listening to each other in order to playfully make jokes and be deceitful.

A great example of this is when Beatrice falls into a trap and begins to eavesdrop and note the conversation the women carefully concocted to convince Beatrice she has great love for Benedick. The women are so well aware of Beatrice, and certain that their plan will work that Hero comments: "look where Beatrice like a lapwing runs / Close by the ground to hear our conference" (III.i. 24-25). A similar scheme was concocted to convince Benedick he has great love for Beatrice. Another reason why the play can be considered to be a Comedy is the use of figurative masking, or counterfeiting. Some of the characters put on a false face and hide their feelings from each other. An...