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  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: English
  • Document length: 786 words

Much Ado About Nothing

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Much Ado About Nothing- How Does Shakespeare Present Difficulties In Relationships In Much Ado About Nothing? 'Much Ado About Nothing' was written in 1600 by William Shakespeare. The play is set in Messina, Sicily however it shows typical English comedy characteristics for that time. I find this unusual because not many people travelled far from home. Relationships are shown in various ways throughout the play using themes such as love, romance and patriarchal society. The main relationships which are portrayed are between Hero and Claudio and Beatrice and Benedick. Act two scene one is the masked ball. Conversations take place between a number of couples; this makes the scene seem lively and gives a sense of movement. The character Beatrice is attracted to Benedick. However Shakespeare confuses the audience by having Beatrice pass insults to Benedick, "masking" her real feelings. more.


He adds further insult by saying "give not this rotten orange to your friend"; this is a metaphor claiming Hero is rotten on the inside but outwardly she appears sweet which adds to the continuing theme of appearance versus reality. Claudio also calls her "an approved wanton" which literally means prostitute. Hero attempts to reclaim her innocence by answering "I talked with no man at that hour, my lord" but otherwise does not defend herself. This is in keeping with the behaviour of women at that time who were expected to be passive and submissive. Leonato chooses to believe the accusations; he shows no mercy for his own child and wishes her dead by stating "death is the fairest cover for her shame that may be wished for." This shows that father/daughter relationships weren't as relaxed as they are now as the daughter had everything planned for her by the father. more.


This also shows the extent people had to go to in those days to uphold family honour. Also in this scene Beatrice declares "O God that I were a man! I would eat his heart in the market place." The quotation shows her distaste for Claudio and what he did to her cousin and that she wants Claudio to be humiliated publicly just like Hero. The quote also shows that it was not considered a woman's place to disagree with a man. She repeats several times her wish to be a "man" which highlights the lack of power women had. Shakespeare has shown that in 'Much Ado About Nothing' the play has a moral context in which women were required to be maidens at marriage. Shakespeare has used some poetic language, particularly in declarations of love between characters; he does this by changing between verse and prose. There is also irony and humour in the form of Beatrice's disapproval of marriage, which completely changes when the relationship between her and Benedick grows. ?? ?? ?? ?? more.

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Response to the question

This candidate's essay focuses well on the relationships between the two couples of lovers Benedick & Beatrice and Claudio & Hero from Shakespeare's 'Much Ado About Nothing'. The answer consists of a sound recognising of the contextual factors of the ...

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Response to the question

This candidate's essay focuses well on the relationships between the two couples of lovers Benedick & Beatrice and Claudio & Hero from Shakespeare's 'Much Ado About Nothing'. The answer consists of a sound recognising of the contextual factors of the times (though perhaps the candidate could work on their wording) and this naturally encourages a nicely rounded answer that is both directly orientating around the question and uses an appropriate set of analytical tools to go about doing so.

Level of analysis

The Level of Analysis shown however is debatable. There is no question as to the focus but quite often the analysis is missing something vital that prevent the candidate from achieving the higher grade boundaries. The use of words and analytical tools is broad but is not specific enough to gain much higher than a low B grade for GCSE. I would advise a better use of wording and appropriate terminology to help this. I would also advise that the candidate makes sure that everything they write is as objective as possible (personal interpretation is of course allowed in small amounts, but it should not form any part of the PEE (Point, Evidence & Explanation). For instance, in the introductory paragraph - "I find this unusual because not many people travelled far from home" as a query about Shakespeare setting the play in Messina is quite irrelevant and is ambiguous as well. Candidates should avoid spare words like this as they do not win any marks even if what they have to say is accurate - if it not relevant then do not include it. Similarly, it is not appropriate to consider language in Shakespearean times to be more "theatrical" because of the society - it is quite apparently because of the fact that 'Much Ado About Nothing' is a play.

Quality of writing

The Quality of Written Communication is fair. There are no moments where the candidates' clarity is compromised, but their written expression needs some work because it is not fully using the terminology given to them. I would advise the candidate to get themselves accustomed to regularly using the appropriate lexis required for effective analysis to improve their answer and achieve that A grade.

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Reviewed by sydneyhopcroft 08/04/2012

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