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. Beatrice says to Benedick “why he is the Prince’s jester, a very dull fool; only his gift is in devising impossible slanders”. Beatrice is teasing Benedick so that her real feelings towards him are concealed.

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   Don John appears to deliberately try to cause problems in the relationship between Hero and Claudio by claiming “how canst thou cross this marriage?”  Don John is showing his distaste for the marriage his brother arranged. This is because Don John is jealous of his brother’s higher status and success. Because he is illegitimate, he does what he can to cause problems for his brother and his friends.

   Act four scene one, the wedding scene, starts with the marriage of Hero and Claudio, who are genuinely in love. However the wedding does not go as planned ...

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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.

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.

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.