• 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 - Is the title, "A Merry War" a suitable alternative title for the play?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

English GCSE Coursework: Much Ado About Nothing By Helen gammons 11D Is the title, "A Merry War" a suitable alternative title for the play? 'Much Ado About Nothing' is one of William Shakespeare's classic comedies, described by others as a "timeless classic, written in true Shakespearian style". The popular theme of mistaken identities runs through out the play. The original title " Much Ado About Nothing " really does describe the play well, as many people become upset over misinterpreting the situation, or by being tricked by the other characters. The Title "A Merry War" is in itself an oxymoron. The two sides of the title are very different and show that the play has two definite contrasting sections. The antithetical phrase " A Merry War " portrays the love-hate relationship between Beatrice and Benedick really well. It also gives an insight into the darker elements of the play, such as Don John's constant war with his brother Don Pedro. To conclude if the title "A Merry War" is appropriate as an alternative title for the play, there are many things to take into consideration. Beatrice and Benedick play two very comical characters. They constantly insult each other throughout the length of the play. Their constant sparring is often very witty and comical. It had been announced, before Benedick had returned from the war , that he and Beatrice "never meet but there's a skirmish of wit between them". ...read more.

Middle

Everyone is happy that they have finally found each other and also know that the humorous "war of words" will continue. The more comical side of the play is where Don Pedro gets both Beatrice and Benedick to overhear conversations spoken by their friends. The staging for Benedick could add a lot of humour as one way of staging it would be to have Benedick stuck behind a bush, constantly bobbing up and down as he hears of Beatrice's love for him, and also the staging of Leonato and the other conspirators blatantly leaning over to him and whispering as loudly a possible in the direction of where Benedick is hiding, this creates a maximum comical affect making the audience more engaged with the characters in the scene. This is also another of the "merry" sides to the play. However, the happiness is short lived. Beatrice demands that Benedick must fight Claudio to protect Hero's (her cousin's) honour. This is an excruciating task for Benedick to carry out, as he and Claudio have been good friends for a long time. Benedick refuses to challenge Claudio, and this causes pain for both Benedick and Beatrice. This brings more emphasis to the war side of "a merry War". In the end, however, the play ends on a happy note, with the two weddings (Claudio and Hero, Benedick and Beatrice), also the villains (Don John and his friends) ...read more.

Conclusion

At the wedding Hero falls to her knees and faints, and for the sake of her honour is later pronounced dead. This upsets Beatrice immensely as she is Hero's cousin and they have been friends for a long time. All hope is not lost though; Leonato discovers the truth of his daughter and tries to get her back with Claudio. Claudio, after hearing of the death of his fianc�e, agrees to marry Leonato's " niece". Don John's plan is then exposed to all the people around him and he is sent away to be punished. The story ends with a happy scenario, with a joint wedding and many celebrations. This also adds emphasis on the merry side of the "war". In conclusion, despite the malicious actions of Don John and his associates (Borachio and Conrade), I think that the title " a merry war" would be a suitable alternative title for the play, as it really does describe the love-hate relationship of Beatrice and Benedick. It also does refer to some of the dark elements as it mentions war. Overall I feel that the play definitely is a merry war as it is described as a romantic comedy. It starts happily and ends with a 'happy ever after' scenario and that counteracts the quite serious events that take place in the middle, where Claudio, Hero, Beatrice and Leonato are severely hurt due to the trickery of the evil Don John. The end scene really does bring back the merry element as the star-crossed lovers finally get together, and the "villains" are taken away. ...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. Peer reviewed

    The Title In Much Ado About Nothing

    5 star(s)

    It ends with Claudio and Hero's marriage, and with Beatrice and Benedick proclaiming their engagement. The irony is that, were it not for the fuss created over the nothingness in between, the play would indeed be about nothing.

  2. How does Shakespeare present the relationship of Beatrice and Benedick in "Much Ado About ...

    He says for example "pick out mine eyes with a ballad-maker's pen, and hang me up at the door of a brothel house for the sign of blind Cupid". All three things that he would allow Claudio and Don Pedro to do are exaggerated, dramatic and self-indulgent.

  1. Explore the possible meanings of the title 'Much AdoAbout Nothing'.

    There are two more deceptions that link with the meaning of non existence. Friar Francis suggests that Leonato 'let [Hero] awhile be secretly kept in, and publish it that she is dead indeed'. Because this is once again untrue, when the characters participate and trick Claudio and other members of

  2. Much Ado About Nothing' was written in the years 1598-9 and was know for ...

    She likes to twist people's words. She seems to have a good relationship with Leonato and Hero. When we are first introduced to Benedick, we see that he likes jokes and can be a funny character. The first time he speaks, he is making jokes with Leonato.

  1. Percy Bysshe Shelley demonstrates a remarkable deftness in drawing out the dark side of ...

    and rise above the need for revenge that makes her the equal of her father and this is what ultimately leads to her downfall. Like her Cenci Beatrice turns to God for the justification she needs in planning and executing the murder of her father.

  2. Discuss the character and role of Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing. What do ...

    The vital roles in the plot which Beatrice plays are also shown through the themes of the play. The main themes throughout Much Ado about Nothing are love, conflict and the ongoing battle of the sexes. Beatrice plays a crucial role in all of these themes, being involved in the key storylines throughout the play.

  1. Discuss how Shakespeare creates the character of Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing

    Also the brevity of this quote suggests Benedick's has given into the idea of love, and is certain of his thoughts. Claudio has a very important role in Benedicks character development, and help shapes his character before his dramatic reform later on.

  2. Write an exploration of the 'dark' elements present in 'Much Ado About Nothing'

    When Conrade presses him for an answer Don John replies telling him that even if there was a reason it would make no difference. Already Shakespeare is presenting Don John to the audience as an unreasonable and melancholy man who will not change for anyone.

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