Social Class In Much Ado About Nothing

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Much Ado About Social Grace The way someone speaks reveals a lot about them. Whether they have a southern drawl, a british accent, or speak a completely different language, words have a powerful impact on human’s perception of others. However, most people would agree that who a person is talking to has a strong impact on how they speak. In Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, language plays a key role in the comedic aspect of the play, but it also highlights the disparity between social classes. The manner in which characters speak and behave in Much Ado About Nothing is largely dependent on their desire to maintain social poise. The social class of interacting characters affects what they say to each other and how and why they say it. When speaking to Leonato, the governor of Messina, Don John says, “I thank you . I am not of many words, but I thank you” (1.1.154-155). At a glance, Don John seems sincerely thankful for his brother, Don Pedro, and Leonato’s acceptance. However, not long after this conversation, Don John tells his friend, Conrade, that he would “rather be a canker in a hedge than a rose in [Don Pedro’s] grace” (1.3.25-26). While talking to an upper-class member, Don Pedro was…show more content…
Language is the reason that Shakespeare’s plays are so captivating. Language is used for comedic effect throughout this play. An excellent example of this is when Dogberry tells Leonato that if he “were as tedious as a king, [he] could bestow it all of [Leonato’s] Worship” (3.5.20-21). Dogberry’s errors in speaking are greatly contrasted by other’s sophisticated exchanges. These differences between social classes are still relatable centuries after the play was written, making it an important theme to explore. In his play Much Ado About Nothing, Shakespeare emphasized the impact of social class on language and
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