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For other uses, see Much Ado About Nothing (disambiguation).
Facsimile of the title page of the quarto version of Much adoe about Nothing
Much Ado About Nothing is a comedy by William Shakespeare about two pairs of lovers, Benedick and Beatrice, and Claudio and Hero.
Benedick and Beatrice are engaged in a very "merry war"; they both talk a mile a minute and proclaim their scorn for love, marriage, and each other. In contrast, Claudio and Hero are sweet young people who are rendered practically speechless by their love for one another. By means of "noting" (which sounds the same as "nothing," and which is gossip, rumour, and overhearing), Benedick and Beatrice are tricked into confessing their love for each other, and Claudio is tricked into rejecting Hero at the altar. However, Dogberry, a Constable who is a master of malapropisms, discovers the evil trickery of the villain, Don John. In the end, Don John is captured and everyone else joins in a dance celebrating the marriages of the two couples.
1 Date and text
7 Analysis and criticism
7.1 Themes and motifs
7.1.1 Opposite sex
7.1.4 Masks and mistaken identity
8 Performance history
8.1 On stage
11 External links
12 Related information
Date and text
The earliest printed text states that Much Ado About Nothing was "sundry times publicly acted" prior to 1600 and it is likely that the play made its debut in the autumn or winter of 1598–1599. The earliest recorded performances are two that were given at Court in the winter of 1612–1613, during the festivities preceding the marriage of Princess Elizabeth with Frederick V, Elector Palatine (14 February 1613). The play was published in quarto in 1600 by the stationers Andrew Wise and William... [continues]
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