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

The presentation and function of Dogberry, Verges and The watch in Much A do about Nothing.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The presentation and function of Dogberry, Verges and The watch in Much Ado about Nothing. In Shakespearean times, Elizabethan audiences enjoyed play's in which involved a character that denoted 'slapstick' comedy into the play. In the play Much Ado about Nothing, this character is Dogberry and his close companions Verges and the Watch. Comedy is excellent as a dramatic device as it involves opportunities for misunderstandings and comical episodes. Throughout the play it is apparent that the characters contribute a great deal too dramatic interest of the play. Dogberry and his companions enter the play at a moment of high drama: the time is not just in the very middle of the play itself, when the dramatic tension is at its greatest, but it is just after Don John's plot, turn's Claudio against Hero, the woman whom Claudio is to marry the following day. Without these characters in the play, it would surely be lacking in the broad humour of working class men , and be exclusively about courtiers whose wit is different from broad humour, and no substitute for it. The audience laughs openly at Dogberry and the townsmen whereas we do not laugh outright at the people of the court, except in the case of Beatrice and Benedick and the way they are deceived and deceive themselves. The character of Dogberry denotes the comedy of the play. ...read more.

Middle

In, the play the function of the Watch is to police the island and provide a safe haven for its residents. This is ironic due to the way they perform there tasks so badly. The language used throughout the play by Dogberry and the other's help to add to the dramatic interest of the play. The audience laughs at Dogberry and Verges because they feel the need to copy the style of the court, and do it very badly in a way which humours the audience. They are long-winded, and they misuse word so much that in places they use one which is the opposite of what they intended to say e.g. "plaintiff" when they meant defendant. Dogberry's character, a minor role in the play, is authoritarian even though he lacks the ability to make himself understood. From the beginning he is prone to the kind of digression that expresses its own sense of self-importance, and he has occasionally to be promoted by his colleague Verges, who is invariably far more direct than he is. "Well, give them their charge, neighbour, Dogberry" III.3.8. And yet it is in the hands of the constable and his Watch that the safety of the inhabitants of Messina rest. If Leanoto's capacity for being de3cieved gives tha audience little confidence in the rational process of Law in Messina, then, surely, we have even greater qualms when we consider the responsibility and the limited ability of the Watch. ...read more.

Conclusion

Dogberry indulges in the kind of witless banter he describes and so ends up patronising himself. Despite sometimes getting things particularly right he tends to set up, unwittingly, the possibilities for alternative realings. He tries to explain the Watch's duties to them... Dogberry "you are thought here...stand in the prince's name" 2nd Watchman "How if a will not stand?" Dogberry "Why, then, take no note of him.. Thank God to be rid of a knave." In Dogberry's speech he misuses the word stand. In familiar Elizabethan slang a stand is slang for a male errection , so Dogberry is UN intentilly telling the watch to go around telling men to have errection's and that it was the governors policy. He is also offering a comic variation on the plays title: Sex, may be Much Ado about Nothing. If a man fails to stand as there will be nothing to note. What makes this funny is the fact it is Dogberry, householder of the community, who provides the audience with his opportunity for coarse laughter. Most of What Dogberry, asks, says or does is to be taken down, fails in to the category of utterly useless information. In conclusion to the play and its most comic characters, Dogberry is the main, 'slapstick' comic of the play. His foolishness and stupidity leads the other's into misfortune. The play, as a whole, really is much ado about nothing. ...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. Explore Shakespeare's Presentation of Gender Issues in "Much Ado About Nothing"

    And the fine is - for the which I may go the finer - I will live a bachelor" (I, i, 223-4). The men fear cuckoldry so much because it shows them not as the all powerful and controlling men that they want to be and that they cannot make women totally obey them.

  2. What is striking about Much Ado About Nothing is that it is written largely ...

    Borachio tells him the entire story, causing Don Pedro to exclaim, "Runs not his speech like iron through your blood?" (5.1.227-228). Leonato arrives with the Sexton, who has informed him of what happened. Furiously Leonato accuses Borachio, Don Pedro and Claudio of killing his daughter.

  1. How would a contemporary audience of Much Ado About Nothing know that it was ...

    could subtly mock Benedick. Both ways it is humorous. Shakespeare uses the confusion to make it comical. In this scene there is a dance. In this scene many characters have short pieces of dialogue. Because of all the commotion that could occur, Shakespeare would probably expect some comedy from dancers

  2. Discuss Shakespeare’s Presentation of Men in Much Ado About Nothing

    so Benedick must have truly been in love. Claudio is more of a young fighting ambitious man, often ridiculed for his age by older jealous men, "Lord Lack-beard." (139) Claudio is portrayed as a fighter from the start of the play, "He hath borne himself beyond the promise of his

  1. Describe and discuss Shakespeare's presentation of the code of values in Messina

    All the eavesdropping shows and displays the question, 'can anyone be trusted in Messina?' Some of the deceptions are malevolent, others are kind. The duping of Claudio and Don Pedro results in Hero's disgrace, while the ruse of her death prepares the way for her redemption and reconciliation with Claudio.

  2. What do we learn about the Society of Messina in the play Much Ado ...

    himself as he stresses, "O she is fallen / Into a pit of ink, that the wide sea / Hath drops too few to wash her clean again" (IV.i.138-140). To describe the shocking element of chastity in Hero, he uses words such as "mired" and "smirched" and as well as

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