Much Ado About Nothing: How Comedy Is Achieved

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Shakespeare’s famous play, “Much Ado About Nothing”, highlights the conventions of a Shakespearean comedy. Good morning teacher and students, I’m here to talk to you about Shakespeare’s clever comedy achieved by many techniques to amuse his audience. The main purpose of a comedy is to entertain the audience; Shakespeare has effectively achieved this through his ideas and techniques. The play mainly consists of conventional and satirical comedy that stems from the characterization of Dogberry, the absurd idea of cuckoldry, and a battle between the sexes.

The first point that achieves comedy in the play is a continuous battle between the sexes. Shakespeare has used many different types of techniques to display a verbal battle between Benedick and Beatrice. Euphuisms are constantly being fired, maintaining humor and entertainment for the audience. An example of this is when Benedick says, “Why, my good Lady Distain are you still living?” this is quickly backfired on him when Beatrice replies, “Is it possible Disdain should die when she hath meet food to feed it as Signor Benedick?” Such sharp graceful wit carries on, collecting the laughs and appreciation from the audience. In the midst of Benedick’s and Beatrice’s bickering animal imagery is implemented. Benedick exclaims to Beatrice, “well, you are a rare parrot-teacher”, meaning that Beatrice is copying and then twisting his insults just like a parrot does. Animal imagery is used to insult characters by referring them to something they are not. The audience, at that time, would think that such silly imagery would be amusing when it is used to insult people. Characters go to extreme when insulting one another, so to achieve such dialogue Shakespeare has cleverly employed hyperbolic imagery. This is shown when Benedick compares Beatrice to a “harpy”, a hideous monster in Greek mythology, telling Don Pedro that he will do anything to avoid her, “…rather then hold three words conference with this harpy”, Benedick...
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