'Leonato, respectable nobleman, lives in the idyllic Italian town of Messina. Leonato shares his house with his lovely daughter, Hero, his niece, Beatrice, and his elderly brother, Antonio. As the play begins, Leonato prepares to welcome some friends home from a war. The friends include Don Pedro, a prince who is a close friend of Leonato, and two fellow soldiers: Claudio, a well-respected young nobleman, and Benedick, a clever man who constantly makes witty jokes, often at the expense of his friends. Don John, Don Pedro’s illegitimate brother, is part of the crowd as well. Don John is sullen and bitter, and makes trouble for the others.'
This play took a little for me to get into.
I was excited to read this play after watching the movie of the same name, staring Keanu Reeves. As I said it took a little for me to get into in, but once I did I really enjoyed it. As with some of Shakespeare's other works I had read, I found that as I knew the characters and the plot from watching the movie, I was able to really enjoy the story without getting lost or confused.
Much Ado About Nothing is considered by may to be one of Shakespeare’s best comedies. It perfectly combines comedy with more serious theme such as honour, guilt and shame. In fact the play does at times have a darker tone with the characters experiencing grief, hatred, anger and betrayal. Even though these themes tend to be resolved quickly, you can a times forget that this is actually a comedy not a tragedy.
As this play is set in Messina, Sicily in the sixteenth century, social expectations of the time are a main theme of the story. The ideals of social grace, chastity and public shaming, along with the need to marry well all play a major role in this story.
I love how Shakespeare is able to weave different and at times opposing themes into this story. I was completely satisfied after finishing this play. I couldn't have asked for a better reading experience.
Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare is one play that should not be missed.
Published by Geramie Kate Barker