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5.0 out of 5 stars A skirmish of wit
A man and a woman meet. They outwardly seem to despise each other (or at least find each other annoying), but we know that deep down they're in love and just need a jolt to realize it.

That's one of the more popular romance tropes -- everybody from Jane Austen to anime has used it. But the original feisty Will They Or Won't They couple was Beatrice and Benedick...
Published on May 29 2010 by E. A Solinas

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3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed feelings about this play.
"Much Ado About Nothing: With New and Updated Critical Essays and a Revised Bibliography" starts out with a plethora of information regarding information about Shakespeare, Elizabethan theatre, the writing style, controversy if Shakespeare wrote his plays and if he contributed to others, etc. Then, the play begins, and this is where I wonder if I truly enjoyed...
Published on Sept. 8 2003 by MAB


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3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed feelings about this play., Sept. 8 2003
"Much Ado About Nothing: With New and Updated Critical Essays and a Revised Bibliography" starts out with a plethora of information regarding information about Shakespeare, Elizabethan theatre, the writing style, controversy if Shakespeare wrote his plays and if he contributed to others, etc. Then, the play begins, and this is where I wonder if I truly enjoyed the play. I began thinking if I liked the play itself, or because it was written by Shakespeare. Which then led to my thinking of whether it would be deemed such praise, if it hadn't been written by him, and I leans towards "no." The wit is somewhat dry, but the plot around Hero and Claudio caught my attention. It showed me how women were regarded as objects and how easily they can be discarded. And, how quickly men would believe any fault about a woman, without hearing her side of the story. Scary, in my opinion. Otherwise, it was interesting, but I don't know if I'd recommend it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A skirmish of wit, May 29 2010
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 10 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME)   
This review is from: Much Ado About Nothing (Paperback)
A man and a woman meet. They outwardly seem to despise each other (or at least find each other annoying), but we know that deep down they're in love and just need a jolt to realize it.

That's one of the more popular romance tropes -- everybody from Jane Austen to anime has used it. But the original feisty Will They Or Won't They couple was Beatrice and Benedick in William Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing" -- and while the plot supposedly revolves around an evil plot to discredit Beatrice's cousin, it's more fun to watch the two B's slinging insults and falling in love.

Spanish prince Don Pedro has defeated his evil illegitimate brother Don John, and is coming to the estate of Leonato for a visit -- along with his entourage, his disgraced brother, and his officers Benedick and Claudio. Claudio soon falls in love with Leonato's daughter Hero, but Hero's cousin Beatrice has the opposite reaction -- "there is a kind of merry war betwixt Signior Benedick and her."

Soon Hero and Claudio are happily engaged, and Don Pedro decides to matchmake Beatrice and Benedick -- and after a tidy bit of manipulation, the acid-tongued pair fall madly in love. But Don John spins up a malicious deception that tears apart the love between Claudio and Hero, creates a rift between Leonato and Don Pedro, and leaves it doubtful that anyone will live happily ever after...

"Much Ado About Nothing" is one of Shakespeare's finest comedies, mainly because it often hangs off his clever wordplay and zinger-filled dialogue ("I see, lady, the gentleman is not in your books." "No; and he were, I would burn my study"). There's even some hilarious scenes where Benedick bemoans the difficulty of writing rhyming poetry.

Technically the plot revolves around the impending wedding of Hero and Claudio, as well as Don John's attempts to derail the whole affair -- resulting on some painfully raw scenes (such as Beatrice freaking out after Hero's public disgrace), as well as some goofy ones... like any scene involving the absurd Dogberry. But Beatrice and Benedick are undeniably the centerpiece of the story, as well as the most likable characters.

Because they're so witty and prickly, Beatrice and Benedick are loads of fun -- they start off violently against getting married and content to just lob insults at each other. And even after they fall in love, Shakespeare keeps their wit intact ("Thou and I are too wise to woo peaceably"). Don Pedro is a good supporting character, a wise and kind prince who enjoys meddling in other people's romantic affairs.

The downsides: we never really get a REASON for Don John to be such a jerk. And Claudio comes across as a puffed up adolescent with a crush, especially since he deliberately humiliates Hero in public to salvage his ego... and for some reason, she doesn't hate him for the maliciousness.

"Much Ado About Nothing" is one of Shakespeare's best comedies -- a tennis match of zingers and witticisms, wrapped around a solid plot about deception and lies.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Humorous, interesting, and not hard to comprehend, March 19 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: Much Ado About Nothing (Paperback)
I'm an 8th grade student and most books we get assigned to read in school are very boring and confusing classics but this book was enjoyable and funny, our assignment was to read only two scenes but I went ahead and read it all
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3.0 out of 5 stars Probably not the best, March 3 2004
By 
Bethanie Frank "book dreamer" (Coffeyville, KS United States) - See all my reviews
There are better translations out there. I would probably choose something else. This is readable, but it lacks the oomph that this play needs.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A little ado about not much, Nov. 21 2003
By 
JP VanderLinden (Waldorf, MD, "Naptown") - See all my reviews
This review is from: Much Ado About Nothing (Paperback)
I believe that the reading of this book/play shouls be encouraged for students across the country, because it shows a comical yet realistic view of love, and the effects it has on people.
When Shakespeare wrote this play, I believe that his purpose was to show the two differing sides of love. He uses two examples, the first being Hero and Claudio, who embody the spirit of romantic, superficial love. The two of them never seem to talk, and as far as the reader knows, they don't have a whole lot in common. Claudio puts so much stock in his "love" for Hero that he overreacts too easily. For example, at a party where Don Pedro agrees to woo Hero for Claudio, Don Pedro's bastard brother Don John tricks Claudio into believing Pedro wants Hero for his own. WIth this fresh in his mind, Claudio stomps off in a huff, without even checking the facts. This kind of love is based on gazing wistfully at the one's partner across the room, and sunshine, lollipops and rainbows.
The other kind of love that Shakespeare chooses to display in this play is the realistic kind of love that is displayed more often in society around us. This is shown in the couple of Benedick and Beatrice. These two quick wits are constantly bickering and at each other's throats, until they are tricked by their friends into each believing the otehr loves them. At this, all of their criticisms of love and claims to remain unmarried until death go right out the window. Suddenly, they are seized by a desire to be with each other, and their true feelings come out. It shows how love actually works in real lifeI would reccommend this play to anyone who enjoys a good comedy with just a twinge of love intrest in it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Remember...I am an ass., Nov. 21 2003
By 
JP VanderLinden (Waldorf, MD, "Naptown") - See all my reviews
This review is from: Much Ado About Nothing (Paperback)
I believe that the reading of this book/play shouls be encouraged for students across the country, because it shows a comical yet realistic view of love, and the effects it has on people.
When Shakespeare wrote this play, I believe that his purpose was to show the two differing sides of love. He uses two examples, the first being Hero and Claudio, who embody the spirit of romantic, superficial love. The two of them never seem to talk, and as far as the reader knows, they don't have a whole lot in common. Claudio puts so much stock in his "love" for Hero that he overreacts too easily. For example, at a party where Don Pedro agrees to woo Hero for Claudio, Don Pedro's bastard brother Don John tricks Claudio into believing Pedro wants Hero for his own. WIth this fresh in his mind, Claudio stomps off in a huff, without even checking the facts. This kind of love is based on gazing wistfully at the one's partner across the room, and sunshine, lollipops and rainbows.
The other kind of love that Shakespeare chooses to display in this play is the realistic kind of love that is displayed more often in society around us. This is shown in the couple of Benedick and Beatrice. These two quick wits are constantly bickering and at each other's throats, until they are tricked by their friends into each believing the otehr loves them. At this, all of their criticisms of love and claims to remain unmarried until death go right out the window. Suddenly, they are seized by a desire to be with each other, and their true feelings come out. It shows how love actually works in real life.
By reading this book, I learned something I already knew, but this just solidified it. The lesson is that love makes people act stupid where they normally wouldn't. For example, Benedick, who said he would be bachelor until he was buried, is discovered to have written poetry and danced around in the garden all giddy and such, where mere moments before he was condemning the man who falls in love as a fool.
I would reccommend this play to anyone who enjoys a good comedy with just a twinge of love intrest in it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Does love always win?, Nov. 20 2003
By 
Nicole (Intro to Theatre, Waldorf) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Much Ado About Nothing (Paperback)
Much Ado About Nothing, a play written by William Shakespeare, is about two couples, who through a series of trials and schemes, fall in love with each other. This is a romantic play, and it contrasts two types of love, romantic and realistic love.
Benedick and Beatrice portray realistic love. They have a solid foundation for each other, they can tease each other, get mad at each other, and love each other at the same time. They are down to earth and practical about love. Once they fall in love, they cannot be swayed in their decisions even though they try to ignore their feelings. Claudio and Hero, on the other hand, represent romantic love. They live on Cloud 9, and their love is based on physical attraction. In the play they fall in love with each before talking. As soon as their relationship gats rocky, though, Claudio bails out, leaving a heartbroken Hero.
I think that Shakespeare wrote this play to show how comical love is. Benedick and Beatrice, who both swore mutual hate for each other, and pledged they would never get marry, fall desperately in love with each other after overhearing their friend's schemes to get them together. Claudio, who swears his undying affection to Hero, mentally dumps her once in the movie, and then leaves her at the wedding altar, because Don John plays tricks on his mind, and easily sways him to quit loving Hero. I think Shakespeare also tried to show us that true love conquers any obstacle in its way.
There are many life lessons in this play. The title, Much Ado About Nothing, relays one of the most important messages. Claudio constantly makes mountains out of molehills in this play. He is quick to jump to conclusions, and does not stop to verify the facts. He bases his judgments on perceptions, instead of reality.
I would highly recommend this book. Although it was written about 400 years ago, it is still applicable to real life. It was a good book, and it contained drama, action, romance, comedy, and deception. One of its downfalls was that it was hard to understand the language because it was written so long ago.
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3.0 out of 5 stars much ado about nothing, Nov. 20 2003
This review is from: Much ADO about Nothing (Paperback)
I thought Much Ado About Nothing made no sense really because it seemed shorter than Antigone, and there was a little too much love going on. I couldn't handle it all, especially the deception by Don John. The first love between Claudio and Hero were like two teenagers in puppy love, and Benedick and Beatrice who had crazy love, which means that they liked each other, but didn't confess about their feelings.
William Shakespeare's main purpose was I think showing what kind of loves there were through different types of people. The first of which is Claudio, the desperate type only looking for a girl to look cool. Whenever Don John told Claudio a lie, he would get all mad and act like he could never forgive Hero. He would whine like a little girl. I think the purpose didn't really click into to me because I am too young and don't understand love.
What I have personally learned from this is to not rush into love because even though Don John made up those lies and false judgments about Hero, those could really happen in real life, plus the fact that we are two young to understand it. We get into that high school puppy love which isn't the same as real love. When we are older we will understand because we will be at that stage where all of us will understand the true meaning of love.
I would not recommend this book because I think it had really no point but to show us what kind of loves there are and, how we should treat them with the person we love. The comedy in this was really good, but in this book, I didn't see the mix of comedy and love.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The piece that made me feel like dancing, Nov. 20 2003
By 
This review is from: Much ADO about Nothing (Paperback)
I thought that the play "Much Ado about Nothing" was a very positive and a enjoyable play to read. Shakespeare's main point in the play is that Love makes you act weird. In the play when Benidick over heard Don Jon, Claudio, and Leonato in the garden giving the illusion that Beatrice was in love with him you saw his true feelings come out of him that you thought you would never see. Beatrice and Benidick fight like cats and Dogs but as soon as Benidick overheard that Beatrice was in love with him he acted like a 3 year old when they find out there going to Disney world. He was thrilled at the fact that Beatrice fancied him. Now on the other side of the garden, Hero and another Woman are doing the same Don Jon, Claudio, and Leonato did to Benidick, only to Beatrice. When Beatrice over hears that Benidick fancy's her she is in shock. She acts as if nothing in thw world was wrong with a huge grin on her face and singing like a love struck teenager. Now these are 2 adults that couldn't stand to be in the same room with each other and now they love each other!There's more to that story then just what we think. But you have to read to find out! I have learned a couple of things from reading this play. Iv learned to like people for who they are inside not on the outside. Hero and Claudio's relationship was based on looks. Iv also learned that when u do wrong things punishment may not come to you just then but eventually it will catch up with you. Don Pedro tricked everyone into thinking common things of Hero and he got what he deserved. And last but not least I learned to put family 2nd to God because when everyone else leaves you will still have family. When Claudio made that scene in front of everyone about Hero Beatrice was right there to comfort her. And I would recommend this book to anyone because it was funny and interesting, And I'm a teen. It's hard to keep our attention but me and my class seem to agree that this play was excellent!
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4.0 out of 5 stars My Review, Nov. 19 2003
By 
Kristan K. (MD United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Much Ado About Nothing (Paperback)
This story starts out as four people who don't really know how or that there fate lies with each other. Hero is a very charming innocent girl who likes to please people; she doesn't stand up for herself but basically obeys what her father tells her. She meets a man, Claudio, who falls in love with her because of her beauty. Claudio is very quick to judge and has no loyalty or consideration of other people. He is very selfish in what he acts on, he doesn't seem to care about anything else except what he wants. These two who fall in love with each other, at first they seem to be the perfect pair but soon much is found out about there character and perseverance when they face a trial that will test them and there devotion to each other.
At a first impression you would never guess their feelings toward each other but little did Benedick and Beatrice know. Beatrice is a fiery woman who is very opinionated and never ashamed to speak her mind, and especially shares her opinions with a certain man named Benedick. Benedick also has a very wild outlook and also likes to speak what he believes is right. They often bicker which they state there differences in a very fiery manner. Benedick protests quite openly how stupid he thinks Love and marriage is, which is comical seeing that later on, he would be giddy with the same love that he mocks. Slowly but surely there obstinate passion and their denial of there true feelings fall into the right place.
I think that Shakespeare's main purpose for writing this book is because he wanted to show how important marriage was. That you shouldn't base your whole relationship on what you look like but you should find out who that person is and then decide if you would want to marry them. Shakespeare wanted to describe the difficulties of having a fake-based love. Because then when you actually have to start dealing with the real issues then how are you going to be able to persevere. Whereas when you have that reality love, the love where you argue about stuff, but its realizing that there are different opinions and that you will get in arguments. So when you have that realistic love then you will know how to deal with the person you married. Whereas on fake love you dont even know who they really are let alone how to deal with them.
I have personally learned how important it really is when you are picking whom you are going to live with for the rest of your life. I have learned that you really need to look inside of the person to know who they are and to look at how they react to situations. Also not to base it on looks, because if you marry them then you are going to live with them for the rest of you life. God told us that if we get married then we are to be as one, and you should totally love them. Not just like how they look, but base your relationships on their character and personality.
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The Oxford Shakespeare: Much Ado About Nothing
The Oxford Shakespeare: Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare (Paperback - May 17 2008)
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