Much Ado About Nothing Analysis

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Each time I hear its title, Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing strikes me with a sense of anticlimax. I cannot help but wonder why one of the most brilliant writers on earth, known for his unparalleled deliberate diction, would craft a title that makes me feel as if this play is finished before I’ve read a single line? Few authors would dare proclaim, “Read my work! It’s a bunch of hubbub over absolutely zilch.” Usually, branding a product as “nothing” is not the greatest marketing strategy. I would suggest that Shakespeare, ever the masterful strategist, is using this title to draw attention to the chaos of the “much ado,” which is ultimately born from his characters ' liberal use of deceit. If the plot begins and ends with “nothing", then we must depend entirely upon the “much ado” created by deceit in the middle, to discover the meaning in this play. In my reading of Much Ado About Nothing, I identify three types of deception: deception of others for benevolent reasons, deception of others for malicious reasons, and self-deception. Of the three, I argue that the last is the most dangerous. But first, I will present examples of each and explore…show more content…
Don John, the villainous half-brother of Don Pedro, provides the perfect example of this when he hatches a plot to “misuse the Prince, to vex Claudio, to undo Hero, and to kill Leonato” (2.2.27-28). He does so, driven by jealous discontent and the vow to “make all use of it,” (1.3.36). At first it appears that his slander of Hero has ruined everyone’s plans and left the girl so “death is the fairest cover for her shame” (4.1.114). Yet the pattern of the play suggests that this kind of deception is ultimately fruitless; all of the characters who engage in it are found out, quickly caught, or foiled in their attempts to escape the consequences. Thus, it could even be argued that this sort of deception only hurts those who perpetrate it, in the
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