I need to write a contemporary short love story based on a theme in Much Ado About Nothing. However, I am stuck for modern ideas. Please enlighten me!

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susan3smith | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

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Much Ado About Nothing, by William Shakespeare, has a plot and a subplot, either of which would be excellent material for a modern spin. The subplot involves Beatrice and Benedick, two witty young people, who are attracted to each other, but too prideful to admit it.  So their friends must trick them to bring them together.  This same trick could work in a high school setting, where friends speak loudly enough to be overheard by a certain young man that a young woman is in love with him, and vice versa.  These scenes could be carried out in a gym locker room or a high school hallway between class changes.  The trick would be to make the conversation clever and funny.

The main plot of the play concerns mistaken identity.  Claudio thinks that his fiancee is sleeping with another man.  He mistakes another woman for his fiancee Hero, and he publicly embarrasses Hero by refusing to marry her at their wedding, calling her all kinds of names.  Again, these scenes would be easy to update, playing around with the idea of mistrust, appearance versus reality, and the inequality of the sexes.

Lastly, one of the major points of the play is the examination of male solidarity.  It seems that the play shows how men tend to stick together, to believe each other, rather than the women that they supposed love.  When Benedick honors Beatrice's request to challenge his friend Claudio to a duel, he is in fact breaking this male code and siding with a woman, something that was rarely done.  Such a situation could be written about in a contemporary setting--a man sides with the woman he loves and turns against his "homeboys," his buds, his bros, his pals--whatever you wish to call them.

This is an interesting assignment.  Good luck with it.

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