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

Note Notes, Forsooth, And Nothing: Themes in Much Ado About Nothing

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Note Notes, Forsooth, And Nothing: Themes in Much Ado About Nothing At first glance, the reader is not likely to notice the immediate clue which presents itself in the title of William Shakespeare's comedy, Much Ado About Nothing. If one, however, would follow the example of a Shakespearean player in Elizabethan times and pronounce the word "nothing" as "noting," he would be introduced to a pun that is very significant because the ideas of noting, or observation, and nothing, are important themes in this story. Noting is something which motivates the characters to take actions which greatly affect the plot, and it is an idea which reflects the theme of reality versus appearance, in which reality is nothing and appearance is due to noting. First of all, it is the characters' noting which drives them to take actions which influence the plot. The earliest example of this is when Claudio falls in love with Hero. ...read more.

Middle

Probably the most important instance of a character's noting affecting the plot is when Claudio observes Borachio wooing Margaret and believes her to be Hero. Thinking Hero to be disloyal, Claudio shames her publicly and refuses to marry her. This event, and the actions taken to solve the problems it creates, make up the major conflict in the plot. The characters must devise a way to prove Hero's innocence and make Claudio feel remorse for his actions. This they do, by staging Hero's death and uncovering her slander. None of this would have occurred, however, if Claudio had not noted Borachio wooing "Hero" and then acted on his false impression. Two more examples of the significance of noting are when the Watch notes Borachio telling Conrad of the crime he committed by helping to slander Hero. The two men are then arrested, which is important to the plot; otherwise, they never would have been interrogated, and Hero's innocence would never have been confirmed. ...read more.

Conclusion

The reality versus appearance theme, which involves objects or affairs not being what they seem to be, goes to a higher level. Characters are deceived by what they note because the things they note seem to be other than they are. Then, by reacting to what they believe they noted, the characters react to what is, in reality, nothing. For example, Beatrice and Benedick fall in love because, by what they note others to say, it appears to them that each is in love with the other. They react to the false appearance that they note by actually falling in love with one another. They later discover that neither one originally loved the other, and so their reaction of falling in love was based on, in reality, nothing. Another example of the reality versus appearance theme is when Claudio notes Margaret and Borachio and believes Margaret to be Hero, then slanders Hero, justifying himself with the idea that she appeared to be disloyal. ...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)

    Indeed, the early Beatrice rejects even the idea of marriage, "Not till G-d make men of some other metal than earth", and is again presented as the antithesis of the traditional heroine. (There is evidence that her cynicism springs from a failed earlier entanglement with Benedick, which may go towards

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

    of what she must do "when Beatrice doth come" however, in act 3 scene 4, where the characters present are again all female, Hero is not as outspoken and forward. However one of the characters present is Beatrice, this suggest that's Beatrice overpowers Hero, and although Hero is technically more

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

    to the audience who is led to believe that a happy ending was in store for Hero. It is ironically surprising that Benedick is on Hero's side and believes she is innocent; 'I do believe your fair cousin is wronged' the audience would stunned at the fact that Benedick believes

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

    ''And Benedick, love on; I will requite thee, taming my wild heart to thy loving hand'' The above statement by Beatrice is a specific way in which Shakespeare portrays her character through the change in her speech format.

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

    Throughout the play Hero who is an example of a conventional Elizabethan woman speaks very little, and makes no decisions, even though the plot of the play mostly revolves around her makes you reflect over the position of woman in the Elizabethan society.

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

    The comment that Benedick makes about how he can see clearly 'without spectacles' seems to be proven when Hero is shamed by the Princes; he

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

    Act IV begins with Claudio and Hero's marriage. Friar Francis asks Claudio if he knows of any reason why they should not be married. Leonato interrupts and says, 'I dare make his answer none'. The way in which Leonato speaks for Claudio shows that he considers himself to be socially superior to the groom.

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

    and expresses that if he kills Leonato, he will at least kill a man and not an innocent child. Similarly, Leonato isn?t the only character in the play to call Claudio a ?boy?, for example Antonio calls Claudio a ?boy? a few times when he demands Claudio to ?come, follow me, boy; come, sir boy, come, follow me?.

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