By Shakespeare, William; Quiller-Couch, Arthur; Shakespeare, William
Set in a courtly international of masked revels and dances, this play activates the archetypal tale of a girl falsely accused of unfaithfulness, spurned via her bridegroom, and eventually vindicated and reunited with him. Villainy, schemes, and deceits threaten to darken the intense humor and glowing wordplay--but the hilarious counterplot of a warring couple, Beatrice and Benedick, steals the scene because the are eventually tricked into admitting their love for every different in Shakespeare's marvelous comedy of manners.
Each variation Includes:
• complete explanatory notes
• brilliant introductions and the main updated scholarship
• transparent, modernized spelling and punctuation, permitting modern readers to appreciate the Elizabethan English
• thoroughly up to date, targeted bibliographies and function histories
• An interpretive essay on movie diversifications of the play, besides an in depth filmography
From the Paperback edition.
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Additional info for Much ado about nothing
Hero is the archetypal romance heroine. Her identity is defined by her sexual honesty: the accusation of infidelity almost literally kills her. Claudio is also bound by traditional notions of honor. Appearance is everything and all that matters is what men say. He doesn’t believe Hero’s denials of the false accusations and neither does his lord, Don Pedro, who makes clear that men must stand together: “I stand dishonoured, that have gone about / To link my dear friend to a common stale” (a “stale” means a whore).
LEONATO He hath an uncle here in Messina will be very much glad of it. MESSENGER I have already delivered him letters, and there appears much joy in him, even so much that joy could not show itself modest enough without a badge of bitterness. LEONATO Did he break out into tears? MESSENGER In great measure. LEONATO A kind overflow of kindness. There are no faces truer than those that are so washed. How much better is it to weep at joy than to joy at weeping! BEATRICE I pray you, is Signior Mountanto returned from the wars or no?
If I had my mouth, I would bite. If I had my liberty, I would do my liking. In the meantime, let me be that I am, and seek not to alter me. CONRAD Can you make no use of your discontent? DON JOHN I will make all use of it, for I use it only. Who comes here? Enter Borachio What news, Borachio? BORACHIO I came yonder from a great supper. The prince your brother is royally entertained by Leonato, and I can give you intelligence of an intended marriage. DON JOHN Will it serve for any model to build mischief on?