Is Shakespeare's 'Much Ado' Too Misogynistic to Be a Modern Day Rom-Com?

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Eman Quisay

Is Shakespeare’s ‘’Much Ado about Nothing’’ too misogynistic to be a modern day rom-com?

Much Ado is a play about love and comedy in a semi courtly setting in the small town of Messina, Italy. In comes the soldiers and everyone rejoices the women dress in their fine clothes in hopes of looking presentable. After all the excitement calmed a little and the women are dressed, they go and meet the soldiers as a household. Leonato whom is the father of Hero and uncle of Beatrice goes and welcomes Don Pedro, the prince, and his companions: Claudio, Benedick and Don John among others. Across the courtyard there is a young love blooming as Claudio gazes at fair Hero and falls in love with her. Simultaneously Beatrice and Benedick meet again with their ‘merry war’ of words. Hero and Claudio are the typical Shakespearean love. Boy meets girl, falls in love with her at first sight without her even uttering a single word. For a modern day romantic, that would be perceived as the epitome of romance as he is so struck by her beauty that he instantly falls in love. The soldier and the Lady is a very romantic idea to people as it is a hardened man that seeks the love of a sweet Lady and that in itself is a very sexist view as it shows that the man is the significant one and the woman is just there for his comfort and convenience. Concurrently to the cynic or the rational minded person of this century, this would seem like a very unlikely scenario, as Hero hasn’t uttered a word yet. Claudio is the typical Petrarchan lover; he falls in love with the girl at first sight, as it is her look that draws him to her. Her Beauty, Chastity and Purity. It is almost as if he has fallen in to lust not love. When Claudio was speaking to Benedick about her he says, ‘’in mine eyes she is the sweetest lady that I ever looked on,’’ this shows that he only fell in love with what he saw not with her as a person. He is only using his sense of sight to see her...
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