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’ cries Beatrice after her cousin, Hero, has been left at the altar on her wedding day.When Beatrice says this, what she means is that she wishes that, as a woman, she were entitled to the qualities that men are not only allowed to have, but are celebrated for.Ergo it can be concluded that Much ado about nothing is a complex play in which the lines between comedy and tragedy are blurred.
In the more modern 2012 interpretation by director Joss Whedon, the gulling scene is exaggerated, taken as a moment of comic relief amongst the more tragic aspects of Much Ado about Nothing.
This ultimately reinforces the play as a comedy and an experience of pleasurable merry-making.
“An experience of pleasurable merry-making and social inversion” – to what extent do you agree with this interpretation?
William Shakespeare’s acclaimed comedy ‘Much Ado about Nothing’ intertwines humor and tragedy in order to produce a play based on social inversion, while adhering to the conventions of comedy and producing moments of pleasurable merry-making.
When Leonato introduces Don Pedro to his daughter Hero, he immediately makes a joke about whether or not his daughter is actually his.
This doesn’t appear to be said in a self-deprecating way.
There are tragic aspects of the play which make it less pleasurable; namely the ubiquitous presence of death.
However, the restoration at the denouement solidifies its genre.
Qualities such as the ability to take personal revenge on men like Claudio, openly defy father-figures like Leonato, or even simply to fall in love with a person of her choosing and for her affection not to be seen as weakness, nor her sexual desires be used as evidence of her inconstant character. Shakespeare’s play grapples with a variety of things: gender, friendship, banter, shaming, trickery, hypocrisy, and even the nature of evil, just to name a few.
But while the play doesn’t deal with ‘nothing’, there is ‘much ado’ about quite a lot.