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Title: Much Ado About Nothing
Author: William Shakespeare
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: Play, Comedy
Format: Digital Edition
Benedick, a womanizing batchelor who regularly speaks out against marriage, has come home from the wars with his friend Claudio. Claudio sees Hero, the daughter of a Don and immediately falls in love and she with him. Benedick claims he’ll never get married and spars verbally with Hero’s cousin Beatrice, who has as sharp a tongue as him. They both claim hatred of the other.
Claudio and Hero conspire to get Benedick and Beatrice together. Using gossip and reverse psychology, it works. However, Claudio’s illegitimate brother decides to cause problems. He makes it appear that Hero is a whore and discredits her before her father and Claudio. She feigns death while her name is cleared.
Then Hero & Claudio and Benedick & Beatrice get married and the rascally brother gets caught by the law.
I went into this with a heavy heart. I was thinking to myself “Oh, not another Shakespeare, maybe I can skip a cycle”. I am glad I didn’t though. I had a blast reading this.
Beatrice was the kind of loud mouth woman that most men just want to put a rag in her mouth because she won’t shut up. It was hilarious. It also helped that she was one of the witty characters. Now, I did have some issues parsing what she was trying to say, what with her english being 400’ish years old, but for the most part I was able to get the gist of what she was trying to get across.
The only reason I gave this just a 4star instead of higher was because of how quickly both Beatrice and Benedick change their minds about the other. Yes, it is a very short play and for time constraints I understand, but it was almost literally a 180 degree reversal in the space of a minute.
Other than that, this was a true comedy. I’m thinking about tracking down a video version and seeing how it compares. Does anyone have any suggestions?