• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

A Marxist Study of Much Ado About Nothing. The ideology perpetuated in Much Ado About Nothing revolves around, centrally, ensuring the needs and insecurities of the aristocratic the need for a patriarchal power, the need to reject, stigmatize and dom

Extracts from this document...


A Marxist study of Much Ado About Nothing Using the Marxist approach to one of Shakespeare's comedies, Much Ado About Nothing, this essay deals with the unconscious of the text in order to reveal the ideology of the text (as buried in what is not said) so as to discover the hegemony behind the text. The ideology perpetuated in Much Ado About Nothing revolves around, centrally, ensuring the needs and insecurities of the aristocratic - the need for a patriarchal power, the need to reject, stigmatize and dominate the lower class and women. According to Elliot Krieger in A Marxist Study of Shakespeare's Comedies, there is a "primary world" and a "second world" in each of Shakespeare's comedies. The second world is a location towards which "the characters, hence the action, move" (1). The primary world is the actual location which the characters originally inhabit, while the second world is where the characters escape to. This second world is an alternative to the primary world, a different perspective for the characters to see the objective reality. It represents a state of mind which "shelters or separates them" in the primary world as the protagonists "circumscribe all of objective reality with their subjectivity" (3). ...read more.


(In the second world of Don John, deception is employed to slander Hero and defame her honour. Its destruction goes as far as providing an unconscious imaginary land for men to relieve their fears about women, suggesting their sadistic desire to attack women so as to affirm their virility. After being publicly shamed, Hero can do nothing but swoon; Beatrice also suffers in great frustration; as she feels the constraints of a woman, she cries: "Is he not approved in the height a villain, that/hath slandered, scorned, dishonoured my kinswoman? O/that I were a man! ...O God, that I were a man! I would eat his heart" (IV. i. 212-214). Masculinity is portrayed as an exclusive power possessed only by the men who could fight back in the face of injustice.) Marriage not only ends the war between Benedick and Beatrice but also maintains the purity of the blood of the upper class. During the time when the play was written, it was unlikely for one, especially a woman of the lower class, to marry one's social status up. The concept of marriage between members of the same class is unconsciously promoted so that the blood of the lower class would not enter and stain that of the upper class. ...read more.


Under arrest, Borachio only makes his confession to Don Pedro as he recounts, "Sweet prince, let me go no farther to mine answer:...I have/deceived even your very eyes: what your wisdoms/could not discover, these shallow fools have brought/to light" (V. i. 171-176). The ideology that aristocratic class holds the key to settling disputes and injustice permeates and they hold the legitimacy to rule the community. Contrary to a traditional reading of the play, the Marxist approach involves a close analysis of the minor character Don Pedro and also the absence of certain events, such as the punishment of Margaret, as well as the displaced rage of Beatrice. The "development of a second world" in Shakespearean comedies "manifests aristocratic privilege". In fact, the "second world functions as an ideological system" and "hide[s] class struggle" (Kriger, 6). The struggle presented in the play is the disturbed power relation between men and women, upper class and lower class. The success of the second world of Don Pedro, who belongs to the aristocratic, replaces the social conditions of the primary world which is previously upset by the dominance of Beatrice and the intrusion of Don John the bastard. The hegemony, which is the second world, is set up by Don Pedro and is privileged to remain as the objective reality in the new primary world of both the aristocratic and the lower class. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Much Ado About Nothing section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Much Ado About Nothing essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    In "Much Ado about Nothing", Shakespeare presents us with a conventional and unconventional heroine ...

    5 star(s)

    Beatrice, like all heroines, is given her own obstacles to overcome, and unlike passive Hero, who achieves her goal through the efforts of others, Beatrice struggles with herself. Having so vehemently dismissed the notion of love and marriage, refusing to "sigh hey-ho for a husband", possibly because of an earlier

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Claudio-'a man of honour betrayed'?

    3 star(s)

    as a man of honour betrayed', which means the scene where Hero, allegedly, is dishonouring Claudio should be believable. In Shakespeare's time, a woman's honour was based upon her virginity and chaste behaviour. For a woman to lose her honour by having sexual relations before marriage meant that she would

  1. Discuss in detail Shakespeare's presentation of women in Much Ado About Nothing

    an inferior match to Benedick. Beatrice's stubborn nature is introduced from the very beginning of the play, in Act 1 Scene 1 where Beatrice makes no attempt to be subtle with her feelings towards Benedick. She promises "to eat all of his killing" calling him weak and challenging the praise he is receiving from the

  2. Much ado about nothing exploring the relationships between Claudio and Hero & Benedick & ...

    finding happiness 'disdain and scorn ride sparkling in her eyes' Beatrice is carefully listening to her cousin talk about Benedick 'I never yet saw a man, how wise, how noble, young, how rarely featur'd' and suddenly realises the error of her ways 'stand I condemn'd for pride and scorn so

  1. Shakespeare's presentation of Beatrice in Much ado about nothing

    On the other hand during the latter stages of the play bear witness to her changing character and language. In Act 2 Scene 1, Beatrice says, ''Lord I could not endure a husband with a beard on his face! I had rather lie in a woollen'' Beatrice's words here are

  2. An Exploration Of The Theme of Deception In much Ado About Nothing

    challenging her to fall in love "nature never framed a woman's heart of more prouder stuff than that of Beatrice" One might argue that had the deception not taken place Beatrice and Benedick would have remained bachelors all their lives and that deception was almost necessary.

  1. To what extent does the portrayal of women in Much Ado About Nothing subvert ...

    Not only is the use of disguise a catalyst for humour, but Beatrice?s, debatably, greater intelligence challenges the conventional view that men are superior to women in every aspect. However, the structure of ?MAAN? enables the reader to recognise the chronological downfall of Beatrice?s wild spirit and liberation.

  2. Explore how Much Ado About Nothing uses the comic genre to allow Shakespeare to ...

    Leonato understands that no other man will marry Hero because they will become a cuckold, bringing shame to himself; therefore Hero has nobody to support her, as she is unable to support herself due to the conventional norms of the Elizabethan period.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work