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Shakespeare - Much Ado About Nothing

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Shakespeare - Much Ado About Nothing

  1. 1. Much Ado About… • Do you think that you could you be tricked into falling in love? • Could you fall in love with your worst enemy? • This is the funny, fantastic premise behind William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing
  2. 2. Much Ado About… • Much Ado About Nothing is generally considered one of Shakespeare’s best comedies. • It deftly combines elements of zany humor with more serious meditations on honor, revenge, and shame.
  3. 3. The History… • It was probably written in 1598 and 1599, as Shakespeare was approaching the middle of his career. • He used several sources in writing Much Ado, including: • Orlando Furioso (1591) • La Prima Parte de le Nouelle (1554) • Le Troisiesme Tome des Histoires Tragiques Extraittes des Oeuvres Italiennes de Bandel (1569) • The Courtier (1588)
  4. 4. The Setting… • Shakespeare sets the story of Much Ado About Nothing in the Italian province of Messina, a sea port off the coast of Italy. • It takes place shortly after a battle, in which Prince Don Pedro is victorious against his enemies.
  5. 5. The Characters • Beatrice - Leonato’s niece and Hero’s cousin. At the outset of the play, she appears content never to marry. • Benedick - An aristocratic soldier, and friends with Claudio and Don Pedro. At the beginning of the play he swears he will never fall in love or marry.
  6. 6. Characters II • Claudio - A young soldier who has won great acclaim fighting under Don Pedro during the recent wars. • Hero - The beautiful young daughter of Leonato and the cousin of Beatrice. Hero is lovely, gentle, and kind.
  7. 7. Other Characters… • Leonato – a nobleman at Messina, and Hero’s father, he hosts Don Pedro and his returning troops. • Don Pedro – a noble prince, and leader in the recent war, he is friend to Benedick and Claudio. • Don John – Don Pedro’s brother, who is incensed about being passed over for a promotion, and wants to cause mischief.
  8. 8. Two last characters… • Dogberry - The constable in charge of the Watch, or chief policeman, of Messina. Dogberry takes his job seriously, but he has a habit of using exactly the wrong word to convey his meaning. • Margaret – Hero’s personal servant. Marry, sir, they have committed false report; moreover, they have spoken untruths; secondarily, they are slanders; sixth and lastly; they have belied a lady; thirdly, they have verified unjust things; and, to conclude, they are lying knaves. ????
  9. 9. The Plot… Don Pedro Claudio Benedick Don John Leonato Hero Beatrice
  10. 10. The Plot… Don Pedro Claudio Benedick Leonato Hero Beatrice
  11. 11. Gulled… • Both Benedick and Beatrice are “gulled” (or tricked) into believing that they each secretly love each other, by overhearing staged conversations by their trusted friends. • Here’s a scene where Benedict heasrs this elaborate “set-up.”
  12. 12. Meanwhile… Don John Claudio Hero Dogberry Hero
  13. 13. Much Ado about… • Much of the popularity of Much Ado About Nothing comes from the cutting repartee between Beatrice & Benedick. • Audiences roar with laughter over their timeless and witty “battle of the sexes.” • When their snide comments are replaced with the raptures of love, they become one of the most silly, beloved couples ever created for the stage.
  14. 14. Stage & Film • Dozens of performances of Much Ado About Nothing are performed on stages around the world every year. • In 1993, an acclaimed, popular film version was made by Kenneth Brannaugh. • Most recently the writer/director of The Avengers, Joss Whedon, filmed his own version the week after he finished The Avengers! He made it at his home using his actor friends [video].
  15. 15. Quotes… • "Lord! I could not endure a husband with a beard on his face: I hath rather lie in the woollen." - Much Ado About Nothing, 2.1 • "He that hath a beard is more than a youth, and he that hath no beard is less than a man." - Much Ado About Nothing, 2.1 • "Speak low if you speak love." - Much Ado About Nothing, 2.1 • "Friendship is constant in all other things Save in the office and affairs of love: Therefore all hearts in love use their own tongues; Let every eye negotiate for itself And trust no agent." - Much Ado About Nothing, 2.1 • "Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more, Men were deceivers ever,- One foot in sea and one on shore, To one thing constant never." - Much Ado About Nothing, 2.3 • "I love you with so much of my heart that none is left to protest." - Much Ado About Nothing, 4.1 • "But masters, remember that I am an ass: though it be not written down, yet forget not that I am an ass." - Much Ado About Nothing, 4.2 • "I have drunk poison while he utter'd it." - Much Ado About Nothing, 5.1 • "Thou and I are too wise to woo peaceably." - Much Ado About Nothing, 5.2
  16. 16. A Nutsy the Squirrel Production Copyright 2013 Oak Hills Media Center All Rights Reserved.

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