Much Ado About Nothing

To Be and Not To Seem in Much Ado About Nothing

Many characters in Shakespeare's plays disguise themselves in one way or another. An important component of many of the his plays is the masked revels. A character adopting a new outward persona is not at all unusual. This use of contrasting the apparent versus the real is put to very good use in Much Ado About Nothing, a play that greatly concerns itself with how human beings must struggle through life by dealing with the question of what is genuine and what is false. This struggle often takes the form of comic invention as shown in the subplot of Benedick and Beatrice, who start off the play by disguising their true feelings for one another through barbed ripostes aimed directly at the other. Much Ado About Nothing is a work of literature that considers the question of whether human beings are capable of dealing with the rest of the world in a totally honest way, or rather has the human race managed to exist as long as it has by welcoming -- even embracing -- some forms of deception.

"You seem to me as Dian in her orb / As chaste as is the bud ere it be blown; / But you are more intemperate in your blood / Than Venus, or those pamper'd animals / That rage in savage sensuality" (385-386). Claudio directs this...

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