Much Ado About Nothing - Transcends Time

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The storyline of Much Ado About Nothing revolves around the drama that occurs over slight misunderstanding; a whole lot of fuss about matters that are ultimately not all that important. Shakespeare’s use of comedy in the play transcends time by dealing with issues in a comedic way that always has and always will be relevant and universal. In Much Ado About Nothing, William Shakespeare is successful in humouring and entertaining the audience from any time period. With the use of witty dialogue, animal imagery, sexual innuendo, malapropisms and including funny situations and characters, Much Ado About Nothing is similar to modern day comedy movies and TV shows. This proves that the type of humour Shakespeare strives to attain is carried out well into the 20th and 21st centuries.

In Much Ado About Nothing animal imagery and references are used to relate certain characters to animals by the way they act, speak or look. In most cases, the references are insulting and are intended to be derogatory. Don Pedro relates Benedick to a bull, wild, tough and hard to handle, in the line “In time, the savage bull doth bear the yoke”. This is intended to say that even Benedick will surrender to love and marriage sooner or later.

Benedick insults many characters in the play by using animal imagery. An example of this is when Balthazar is singing, Benedick says, “An he had been a dog that should have howled thus, they would have hanged him”, meaning that Balthazar sings how a dog does and deserves to be hanged. Beatrice also uses animal imagery to an extent, to create humour and exaggerate her point when she says “ I would rather hear my dog bark at a crow than a man swear he loves me”.

Another technique to provide humour in Much Ado About Nothing is witty dialogue. In the play Benedick uses witty language to applaud, yet insult Beatrice at the same time when he says “I would my horse had the speed of your tongue and so good a continuer”. This is witty and humerous...
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