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In which ways does much ado about nothing display elements of both romantic comedy and tragedy?

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In which ways does much ado about nothing display elements of both romantic comedy and tragedy? To answer the question it is necessary to explain and explore the different elements of tragedy and romantic comedy in the Shakespeare play "Much Ado About Nothing". Traditional conventions of an Elizabethan comedy include a rural or pastoral setting, which adds to the idyllic environment. Moreover this is a main aspect for a romantic comedy as it automatically gives the impression for a happy and blissful storyline. Moreover the play is set in Messina, Italy, that adds to the love theme. Many of Shakespeare's plays are set in Italy, for example Romeo and Juliet. . In Messina everything is perfect, tranquil and serene so with all this perfection it is perceived that nothing can ever go wrong, including relationships. In addition there is usually a pair of lovers, male and female, who are pestered by the malcontent. Furthermore there is always a happy ending in traditional Elizabethan romantic comedies. However different aspects of tragedy threaten this for instance Claudio's excessive behaviour and the malcontent in the play, Don John. ...read more.


During a conversation with Leonato Don John says, "I am not of many words". This suggests that he wishes to keep a low profile and get on with his sly and scheming deeds in the shadows of the other characters. Don John wisely does not want to reveal too much about himself. The viewers of the play will pick up on this. When Claudio goes to marry Hero he lets out all his feelings and aggression. He calls her such things as a "rotten orange". This particular quotation shows how Claudio is describing her Hero as attractive and appealing on the outside but mouldy and decaying on the inside. Moreover he is suggesting she is corrupt and sexually depraved. The depth and description of the language he uses shows his hatred and despair that he is feeling at that present time. Although this is a horrible thing to say the audience are once again clarified of Claudio's status due to his use of language. In most of Shakespeare's plays the characters use of language is a clear indication of their role and position in the play. ...read more.


When she says, "I am gone, though I am here" she means that she is physically there but her love for Benedick has gone. Overall I would ultimately categorize this play as a romantic comedy although it is severely threatened by certain elements of tragedy. If certain events had of happened such as Benedick duelling with Claudio and if Dogberry and Verges hadn't been included in the play it would be a tragedy. As a result of the happy and joyful ending, most of the characters have matured in the ways they act towards each other. Claudio has learned to trust people and not jump to conclusions and Leonato has learned to love and have faith in his daughter. Also Benedick and Beatrice have learned to love each other and live in peace and harmony. The very end of the play is ironic as the characters throw a ball and have a dance in a happy and jubilant mood. This almost always happens in romantic comedies, especially Shakespeare's plays. Oliver Carter ...read more.

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    Don John's reply to Leonato's greeting, Act I Scene I Lines 140-41 'I thank you. I am not of many words, but I thank you' implies that he is a brooding man, that he has deep-rooted issues and troubles and is very melancholy.

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