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

In what ways is Act 4 scene 1 a significant scene in, ‘Much Ado About Nothing’?

Extracts from this document...


Chris Ramsdale Much Ado About Nothing C/W In what ways is Act 4 scene 1 a significant scene in, 'Much Ado About Nothing'? The witty comedy Much Ado About Nothing (1599) is marred, in the opinion of some critics, by an insensitive treatment of its female characters. The play Much Ado About Nothing is a comedy, which was written in the reign of Elizabeth I. In this era comedy had a slightly different meaning, human folly. This meant that in the time it was written the play was about people with a foolish nature. Although the play is a comedy, it also has a serious nature that is reflected in act 4 scene 1. This often leads to lyricism and ambiguity and shear despair. This makes this scene stand out, and also makes it a turning point in the play. Also Shakespeare played with the words on the title, as the word nothing in Tudor times also sounded like noting, which in Much Ado About Nothing is observing. The punning on 'nothing and noting in the title suggests from the start that the play will be concerned with ways in which people perceive one another. ...read more.


sweetest lady" He also makes other comments on her looks in the opening scene, " Can the world buy such a jewel"? This suggests that Claudio thinks she is precious, valuable, and beautiful, basing his opinion on her looks. But in act 4 scene 1 his views on Hero dramatically change. He now sees her as nothing but a 'whore' as he believes he has witnessed her sleeping with another man and thinks her to as a 'common stale'. He uses sarcasm through out the scene to express be views on Hero. This can be seen when he repeatedly calls her a 'maid' in which means to be a virgin, when to the audience he means she is no more than a prostitute. It is also seen when he compares her to a 'rotten orange', looks perfect on the outside, but on the inside is horrible and repulsive. The contrast of his initial thoughts of Hero, to what he thinks of her in act 4 scene 1 are clearly expressed by Claudio, when he compares her to two Goddesses, " You seem to me as Dian in her orb... But you are more intemperate in your blood, Than Venus..." ...read more.


The Shakesperean audience and the modern audience would probably responed to the scene very differently. The shakesperean audience would probably enjoy the idea that the powerful characters, like Don Pedro, and leonato being made fools of, where as the modern audience would probably enjoy the slapstick comedy, like the tricking scene. Act 4 scene 1 is probably the most important point in the whole play. It is the turning point for love, in the abandoned marriage and the relationship between Beatrice and Benedick. Reputation, as the slander momentarily killed Leonato's and Hero's reputation. And the out come. of the foolishness of Claudio and the Prince. And the punishment of Don John who in the time the play was written , theaudience would have expected to be punished for his crimes.In context of the whole play, this was probably the most serious of any other scene. There was however deception in other scenes, such as the tricking of Beatrice and Benedick, and the scene at the masked party when Beatrice ridiculed Benedick. These hints of deception however when portrayed as comedy where as act 4 scene 1 was the complete oppisite, however all the time the audience knew more than some of the characters. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE 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 GCSE Much Ado About Nothing essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    How does Shakespeare Make Act 4 Scene 1 exciting and dramatic?

    3 star(s)

    He does not suspect that the wedding is going to be a complete disaster. Shakespeare makes it impossible for us not feel sorry for Hero. As an audience we go into Act 4 scene 1 knowing that Claudio wants to shame her and because of this we already feel concerned for her because we know it is a trick.

  2. In much ado about nothing act 4 scene 1, is the most dramatically significance ...

    and Claudio lie, who lov'd her so that speaking of her foulness, washed it with tears?'

  1. Compare and contrast the characters of Benedick and Claudio in

    part of the play, disagreeing with Benedick's point of view on women., this makes the audience feel more involved, and the fact that Benedick detests women so much, ties in the comical side of the romantic comedy. Claudio, on the other hand, has a general honourable and noble approach to

  2. What is the Dramatic Significance of Act 2 Scene 1 in 'Much Ado About ...

    'Will you have me lady?' This can be seen as a nonchalant compliment or as a serious proposal. To the audience his motives are not clearly understood but it can be sure he thinks Beatrice has a 'merry heart'. Shakespeare could have intentionally planned such a loving character for Don

  1. Act 4 Scene 1 is often considered a key scene in 'Much Ado About ...

    The effect of this is that he believes what he saw and bases the charges towards her on what he saw. He talks about Hero being worse than an animal; this is shown through this line where he says: "Not to knit my soul to an approved wanton".

  2. Much ado about nothing Act 4, Scene 1.

    He also feels personally hurt and ashamed by what she has done as her honour and the family's honour was tied in with each other. If Hero had had sex before she was married, she would dishonour herself and the family name.

  1. During Act 1 Scene 1 in Shakespeare's 'Much Ado About Nothing,' up until Act ...

    that the other three are purposely speaking loudly, intending on Benedick hearing them. Between lines 110 and 116, in Act 2 Scene 3, Benedick must clearly show the audience he is listening to the convocation, perhaps hiding behind a prop, but not in full view.

  2. How does Shakespeare dramatically present power and authority in the relationship between men and ...

    He becomes the "Argument of his own scorn, by falling in Love", the crime of which he accuses Claudio. He acts as a traditional lover, in everything except that he still manages to regard Beatrice as a rational creature, not a silly unfaithful female.

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