Much Ado About Nothing

A Marxist study of Much Ado About Nothing

Using the Marxist approach to one of Shakespeare’s comedies, Much Ado About Nothing, this essay deals with the unconscious of the text in order to reveal the ideology of the text (as buried in what is not said) so as to discover the hegemony behind the text. The ideology perpetuated in Much Ado About Nothing revolves around, centrally, ensuring the needs and insecurities of the aristocratic – the need for a patriarchal power, the need to reject, stigmatize and dominate the lower class and women.

According to Elliot Krieger in A Marxist Study of Shakespeare’s Comedies, there is a “primary world” and a “second world” in each of Shakespeare’s comedies. The second world is a location towards which “the characters, hence the action, move” (1). The primary world is the actual location which the characters originally inhabit, while the second world is where the characters escape to. This second world is an alternative to the primary world, a different perspective for the characters to see the objective reality. It represents a state of mind which “shelters or separates them” in the primary world as the protagonists “circumscribe all of objective reality with their subjectivity” (3). While the protagonists “experience the second world...

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