Much Ado About Nothing ★★★★☆

muchadoaboutnothing (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Much Ado About Nothing
Series: ———-
Author: William Shakespeare
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: Play, Comedy
Pages: 84
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

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.

 

My Thoughts:

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?

★★★★☆

 

bookstooge (Custom)

 

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46 thoughts on “Much Ado About Nothing ★★★★☆

  1. davekay says:

    There are lots of film versions to choose from! There’s a 2012 version that basically just the stage play filmed, then there’s more move-like versions such as the 1993 one.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. YouKneeK says:

    I’m glad you enjoyed this one more than the others you’ve read so far! I read this one last year. I liked Beatrice and Benedick, but was a bit annoyed with Claudio and Hero. I also loved the scenes with Dogberry, with all his messed-up words.

    I watched the Branagh version from 1993. It was the only version I watched, so I don’t know if there are better ones. My experience so far with his versions is that they’re more traditional, close to the actual plays in both wording and setting, instead of trying to modernize or reinterpret them. That’s what I’m looking for, at least the first time. I liked the movie pretty well, although I was disappointed by the Dogberry scenes not being as funny as they were when I read them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bookstooge says:

      Dogberry had me rolling with his continual “write that down!”, as if writing something down was a magical process 🙂

      Thanks for the nod to Branagh’s version. I liked his Henry V, so since I’m guessing Davekay was referencing this one in his comment too, I’ll probably go with it, IF the library has it of course :-/

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Once in a while I consider trying more Shakespeare but he’s so hit or miss for me that I never really feel the pull. I’ll never understand why anyone thinks Romeo & Juliet is romantic, then again, I think it’s mostly teenagers that feel that way.
    BUT if I do, I’ll try this one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bookstooge says:

      Shakespeare has been completely hit or miss for me too. This is just one of those things I’ve always wanted to do so I’m doing it now while I still have the oomph to do it.

      This is a fun one though, for sure.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. HCNewton says:

    Branagh’s version is great (Emma Thompson, in particular is fantastic). There’s something to be special about Whedon’s, too. I’ve watched both several times – and I’m not partial to the Bard.

    I do want to track down a copy of the one with David Tenant and Katherine Tate. Looks like fun.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Manuel Antao says:

    The version with Lunghi and Robert Lindsay.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Christopher says:

    Others have recommended Branagh’s version and I’ll just second or third that. As screen adaptations go it’s a very good one–traditional but also easy to follow and fun.
    Although there’s also something to be said for seeing Shakespeare, especially the comedies, live. Years ago I saw a production in a park. When Benedick is hiding in the garden the actor playing him walked into the audience and put on one person’s cap and another person’s sunglasses, and started taking food out of people’s picnic baskets. It was pretty funny.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Joelendil says:

    I’d add my support to the Branagh version. Just be aware that it does cut out a lot of the soliloquy, so you aren’t getting the full play. I think Michael Keaton as Dogberry was a hoot.

    If you want something a little different, Joss Whedon did a modern costume/setting version a few years ago that was interesting (Dogberry is a dumpy security guard played by Nathan Fillion).

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m glad you enjoyed this one! It can be hard to parse the humor of Shakespeare’s English (and era) but I do think a lot of this one stayed funny over the years.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Matt Ries says:

    A review of the play by Overly Sarcastic Productions, you might enjoy. https://youtu.be/9-AGIUNsGgA

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Sounds like a good piece of Mr. Shakez. Got to admit that things written in Old English, or anything close to it, is tough on the brain though!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. savageddt says:

    Never heard of this title before. Then again, my english aint the strongest point always

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Hurray! I’m so glad you liked it, it’s my favourite Shakespeare play and I love watching it performed every single time! The BBC did a modern version of it back in 2005 as part of a mini-series and it’s fantastic!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Yay- so glad you had a blast! This is a fun one as well 🙂 And I really like the Kenneth Branagh version!

    Liked by 1 person

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