Much Ado About Nothing: An Overview
It is a beautiful spring afternoon. The air is full of the radiance of freshly bloomed daisies and the energizing chill of the periodic spring breeze. Puffy large cumulus clouds fill the azure sky with gray thunderheads looming off in the distance. Looking down from the clouds, one can see a gathering of finely dressed people. Birds flying overhead hear the murmurs of the crowd gathered for a wedding of gentry.
Shakespeare could never have planned the first scene of Act IV in Much Ado About Nothing so well. The serene sky overhead symbolizing the beauty and joviality of the occasion; dark rain clouds looming in the distance foreshadowing the mischief to come. Despite his inability to control weather patterns, Shakespeare developed marvelous scenes which he displayed in his own theater, The Globe. How did Shakespeare portray the emotional aspects of his characters and their strife to his audience? How did he direct the actors and what did the open air stage of The Globe look like?
Imagine yourself in London circa 1600, a short year after the completion of the Globe Theater and perhaps a few months after the completion of the play Much Ado About Nothing, Act IV has just begun. Claudio and Hero are facing each other in front of a simple, yet anciently beautiful altar, garbed in Elizabethan costume fit for the occasion. Hero is wearing a long white dress with trailer and high neck which is adorned according to the fashion trends of the time. Claudio has donned a royal looking doublet with silver trim and hose to equally as majestic. Sitting on either side of the couple in ancient pews, shrouded in solemn silence, are Don Pedro the Prince of Aragon, Don John the Bastard, Leonato, Benedick, Beatrice and the attendants of Beatrice and Hero. Facing the couple, positioned in between them so the audience may hear him, is Friar Francis wearing a simple white robe and golden cross, his only possessions . Don
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