Solipsism In Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing

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Solipsism is a philosophical belief that states only one 's own mind exists. Therefore, anything outside of the realm of one 's existence is uncertain. In multiple plays, Shakespeare 's characters are driven to explore truths they are given on their own accord. They rarely encounter the crux of the issue directly, so they run around the problem instead. For example, in Much Ado About Nothing, Claudio can prevent the majority of the play from happening if he asks Hero to explain what he saw in his window. This inability to solve problems is a common thread in Shakespeare 's tragicomedies. In my research, I will focus on three of Shakespeare 's works. As previously stated, Much Ado about Nothing revolves around misunderstanding. The characters…show more content…
All of the hysteria is dispelled by a simple moment of clarity. The characters are digging their own graves and manage to pull themselves out by the end of the play because of one singular moment in the conclusion. This trend is Shakespeare 's rebuke to anyone that relies too heavily upon themselves. The critical approach I will take with the plays focuses on the nature of the conflicts in the plays and their relationships to the audience. For example, juxtaposing the divine intervention in Cymbeline and the lack of magic in Much Ado about Nothing creates space to discuss Shakespeare 's multiple rejections of solipsism. Even further, the confusion in Comedy of Errors is able to alienate the audience and challenge their relationship with the work. Rather than close-reading, I have picked secondary sources with analyses that I will use to explore the idea of solipsism in Shakespeare to its full capacity. Barbara Everett 's article, "Much Ado, The Unsociable Comedy," investigates the work 's inability to connect with audience as well as Shakespeare 's other works. Everett examines the disappointment commonly felt in the ending because of the poor development of characters. I will use her insight to describe the shortcomings in characters that rely too heavily on themselves, such as Posthumus and
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