Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare

One of Shakespeare’s comedy plays, ironically I thought that the humour in some of the more serious plays was much better. Much Ado About Nothing is by no-means bad though, it’s loosely entertaining enough, and doesn’t overstay its welcome (being quite short). There have been some Shakepeare plays I just found quite boring, and while this one wasn’t quite boring, it also didn’t really have anything that particularly excited me.

The story is mostly about two couples, Claudio and Hero, and Benedick and Beatrice. There’s a lot of the usual Shakespeare innuendo, people misunderstanding things, and just a lot of light fluff really. A lot of fuss about nothing, you could say, to read the title with the interpretation taught in schools (though I know that the “nothing” more likely refers to the “nothing” women have between their legs – gee, good one, Will).

It does pick up a little more towards the end where, without spoiling it, characters receive news of somebody’s death. Considering the circumstances, and the fact that most of the play is just a bunch of nonsense, this is quite a shocking development and it certainly piqued my interest. Meanwhile, it serves as a valuable historic record on the ridiculous amount of significance that people used to place on a woman’s virginity (just as some still do today) – although I am fairly confident that Shakespeare was not condemning anything.

That insight into historic misogyny is probably one of the best things about it, since it doesn’t tell a particularly profound story, nor is it tied into any interesting historic or mythological events. But like I said, I was never bored, just kind of mildly enjoying myself the whole time, and a little bit more at the end.

Rating: 5.6/10

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