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

Much Ado About Nothing

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

English Coursework Essay on 'Much Ado About Nothing'. 'The Jokes which society tells are a significant index of that society's concerns and anxieties'. (M. Mangan, A preface to Shakespeare's comedies, 1996) If this is the case what can we learn from 'Much Ado About Nothing' about the 'concerns and anxieties' of the society in which Shakespeare was living? 1Sir H Walpole once remarked that 'a comedy should make us think', Shakespeare exploits this function of comedy by utilizing jokes on the themes of cuckoldry, infidelity and honour to permit the audience to think about the 'concerns and anxieties' associated with these jokes within Shakespeare's society and what can be learnt from these jokes told. The figure of the Cuckold in 'Much Ado About Nothing', a husband of a woman who commits adultery, is a running joke throughout the play. In the play, the character Benedick, who carries a misogynistic view of women, is the main instigator of these jokes, he says that being a cuckold is what happens when you get married and you would have to 'hang' his 'bugle in an invisible baldrick' and he vows never to allow the plucking 'off' of 'the bull's horns and' setting 'them' on his 'forehead', meaning he does not want to get married. ...read more.

Middle

Love as a disease is another joke used in 'Much Ado About Nothing', to highlight the concerns and anxieties in Shakespeare's society over love. In Act 3 Scene 2 , after Benedick has apparently fallen in love with Beatrice he claims to have 'the toothache' and Don Pedro and Claudio tease him suggesting he 'draws it' or 'hang it' and in Act 3 scene 4 after Beatrice has supposedly fallen in love with Benedick she claims to be 'sick' and Margaret and Hero suggest 'cardus benedictus', a holy thistle and a clever pun on Benedick's name. Shakespeare discreetly portrays how Benedick and Beatrice's alliance with their honour provokes them to fear being reliant in another person and this explains Benedick's fear of marriage. Shakespeare is vividly commenting on the fears of love and its effects in Messina as a microcosm of Elizabethan England. An Elizabethan and a modern day audience could relate to this concern, as there are many pressures and problems that come with falling in love such as suitability, personality, appearance and many more. They could also make a connection to the effects love has on a person where it makes them a victim, oblivious to all things around them, gives them a loss of their sense of reality and a blindness to their lover's faults. ...read more.

Conclusion

uses it in all of his comedies; 'Twelfth Night', 'The Taming of the Shrew', 'A Midsummer Night's Dream', 'As you like it' and 'Much Ado About Nothing' this illustrates that deception was not only an entertaining comic convention but a serious and sever anxiety within his society because in that period of time there were many who tried to deceive others, however, the deception was well hidden. A modern day and an Elizabethan audience would be able to connect to this as deception was and still is a very common occurrence witnessed by many in societies. In the title of 3Peter Holindale's essay on the subject of comedy remarks that there are 'serious voices in a Comedic world', this is viewed in Messina and paralleled to Elizabethan England. The jokes crafted and exploited by Shakespeare in 'Much Ado About Nothing' elaborate and reiterate the anxieties that not only the Elizabethan era faced but every generational society faces and adds to as each day passes and furthermore, make each new generation of audience laugh at these anxieties. _____________________________________________________________________ 1 Walpole, H, Sir; 'Letters' (1776) 2 Mangan, Michael; 'Huddling jet upon jest'(1996) 3 Holindale, Peter; 'Serious Voices in a Comedic World' 1984 words By Funmi Adebakin 12w ...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. Discuss in detail Shakespeare's presentation of women in Much Ado About Nothing

    This kind of talk would not be acceptable from the other characters, but Shakespeare builds up the character of Margaret to represent a more ill mannered and crude aspect of the play. Shakespeare does this both through Margaret's main purpose - as an accomplice in the shaming of Hero -

  2. What do we learn about the Society of Messina in "Much ado about Nothing"?

    and the active participation of its participants in recreating in leisurely activities. The implementation of Balthasar's songs and the masked ball itself shows the happiness that the people of Messina allowed themselves to indulge in, and shows Messina to be a jocular, light-hearted locale, and in being so fits the

  1. Explore to what extent, if any, Shakespeare presents Claudio to be an admirable character ...

    Hero as the 'trophy worthy of his noble vision of his destiny'. Further more, it is only natural for a person, in rejoicing, to comment on their own emotions and to not think about other people's. In this sense, Claudio's words, it could be said, were not entirely selfish but simply a natural reaction to his situation.

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

    in a different light, ''Kill Claudio'' This statement uttered by Beatrice to Benedick as a result of Claudio's shaming of Hero is a direct reaction to the occurrence of that event.

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

    to make the audience laugh.Benedick is almost challenged into loving Beatrice "he would make but a sport of it, and torment the poor lady worse", deeming him as almost incapable of falling in love. Similarly Hero too tricks Beatrice into acknowledging her feelings by tricking her; using convincing words and

  2. How Is The Theme Of Deception Apparent in Much AdoAbout Nothing

    The second line he speaks since he entered their circle includes sibilance, '...leisure served, I would speak with you.' which creates an image not too unlike the hissing of a snake before it attacks. There is also a lot of repetition and carefully constructed dialogue in this exchange on Don

  1. Analyse the humour and comedy of Act 1 in Much Ado About Nothing

    This is demonstrated when Benedict states that she is ?to low for a high praise, too brown for a fair praise and too little for a great place?, which creates comedy. This is comical as Benedict over complicates Hero as a wife for Claudio analytically pulling out all the negatives within her.

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

    As Jacob Lund argues ?the marriage of Beatrice and Benedick seems at first to offer a different view of what constitutes social order in the world of the play? with their repartee and Beatrice?s confidence, seen clearly when she remains contentious just before becoming a wife, stating she will ?take thee for pity?.

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