Book 8: Much Ado About Nothing, William Shakespeare

One of Shakespeare’s romantic comedies, this play is set in the seaport town of Messina, in Sicily. The drama concerns “the battle of the sexes” and focuses on the barbed wits and intrigues that two sets of lovers and their friends and family create. Brimming with wit and antagonism, the play has amused and provoked audiences for centuries.

 

This is my favourite play of all time. šŸ˜€ Oddly enough, I first came across it because of a Draco/Hermione fanfiction that I was reading years ago. In it, the students of Hogwarts were staging this play, and so a lot of the play was quoted as the chapters went on. The fic was never finished (at least it wasn’t when I first read it, I don’t know if it has since been concluded), but I needed to know how the play itself ended so I went to my high school library and found a copy of it. That was the first time I’d read any Shakespeare play of my own accord that I didn’t have to study for English. I had fallen in love with it.

SevenĀ years later (I’m pretty sure the first time I read Much Ado About Nothing was when I was sixteen in Year 11) and I’m still in love with this play. It’s another of his fun comedies, and the characters that populate this one are all fantastic. In fact, Beatrice and Benedick are two of my all-time favourite fictional characters, and their love story is up there in my top five, right alongside Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy’s, and Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe’s.

Don John is a fun villain. Having been the conquered party in the civil war, he now seeks his revenge on his brother, Don Pedro, who defeated him, and Don Pedro’s right-hand man Claudio. I love his scenes, and how stands around with his minions complaining and plotting all the time. šŸ™‚

Of course, my favourite part of the play (or really, multiple parts) are all of Beatrice and Benedick’s interactions. I love the witty banter that they have together. There are whole sections of their’s that I can quote off the top of my head, with their very first scene together being my very favourite (and I’ll only quote a couple of lines in order to keep it short ;)):

BEATRICE: I wonder that you will still be talking Signior Benedick: nobody marks you.

BENEDICK: What, my dear Lady Disdain! are you yet living?

BEATRICE: Is it possible disdain should die when she hath such meet food to feed it as Signior Benedick? Courtesy itself must convert to disdain, if you come in her presence. (Act I, Scene I)

And so it goes on. Even just thinking about them are getting me excited again, as they seem to do every time. šŸ˜€ While I’m here quoting, I think I’ll include my other favourite line while I’m at it:

CLAUDIO: Now you talk of a sheet of paper, I remember a pretty jest your daughter told us of.

LEONATO: O, when she had writ it and was readingĀ it over, she found Benedick and Beatrice between the sheet?

CLAUDIO: That. (Act II, Scene III)

Hee! I do love Shakespeare’s bawdy jokes.

I picked Much Ado About Nothing up again this year as I had tickets to see Bell Shakespeare’s production of the play (which was an absolutely fantastic production, starring Toby Schmitz as Benedick). Not only that, but I was lucky enough to get a ticket to see Much Ado About Nothing at the Wyndham Theatre (starring David Tennant and Catherine Tate as Benedick and Beatrice) in July, while I was on holiday in London. Which was another unbelievably wonderful production which I loved.

So yes, this is getting quite long with my fangirling of this play, so let me finish by saying this: Everyone should read this play. You will love it.

 

You canĀ  check out Much Ado About Nothing on Goodreads, or you can order it from Amazon and Booktopia.

 

Books left: 142

Days left: 540

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2 Comments

  1. The way Tennant says “Are you yet living?” KILLS ME. I could hear Tate and Tennant while reading that quote and I died. DIED.

    I agree. Beatrice and Benedick are one of my favourite pairings ever. I love me some love/hate.

    Reply
  1. [review] Much Ado about Nothing (2011) | coffeeandwizards

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