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How can i compare relationships in Romeo and Juliet and Much Ado About nothing.?For...

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louissmith203 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 11, 2013 at 5:38 PM via web

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How can i compare relationships in Romeo and Juliet and Much Ado About nothing.?

For example, when Claudio and Hero meet, compared to Romeo and Juliet and how this affects the end result of the play. Also i need to relate this to context including a "perceptive and imaginative exploration on the significance of context" 

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gojsawyer | Teacher | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

Posted January 11, 2013 at 7:19 PM (Answer #1)

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Begin with examining the context in which the relationships occur in both plays. Next, ask the question, what is the difference between true love and obsession? Romeo and Juliet is tragic, while Much Ado About Nothing is comedic. For example, in “Romeo and Juliet,” the theme of “star crossed” or “ill fated” lovers permeates the narrative from beginning to end. The events that occur to keep them apart and ultimately influence the tragic end are driven by fate as a grim reaper. In contrast, fate plays a role in “Much Ado About Nothing,” but comedic mishaps and turns of wit drive the relationships between the characters. They play along with whims and fancy toward a happy resolution of the conflicts. Decide for yourself if Romeo and Juliet truly loved each other or if they became obsessed with each other, in part, to spite their parents. Likewise, decide what kind of love drives the characters in “Much Ado About Nothing.”

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seaofknowledge | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

Posted March 27, 2015 at 4:20 PM (Answer #3)

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Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy whereas Much Ado About Nothing is a romantic comedy. So due to the characteristics of these two different genres, the end results are different. A tragedy entails death whereas a romantic comedy does not. So one has a tragic, sad ending whereas one has a happy one.

There are however some similarities between these two Shakespeare plays. The most significant commonality is how the characters are not able to get together for various reasons. Romeo and Juliet cannot come together because they belong to feuding, rival families. Claudio and Hero cannot come together (at least not till the end) because of misunderstandings. So in both cases we have lovers who are separated and cannot overcome the barriers and problems that keep them apart. There are also people in both plays that intend to keep the lovers apart and make sinister plans in that regard.

Another similarity is the meeting of the couples. Rome sees Juliet from a distance at Juliet's father's masquerade and falls in love with her at first sight. Claudio sees Hero after arriving in Messina and falls in love with her immediately, sharing his feelings with his friend.

I'm not sure what "perceptive and imaginative exploration on the significance of context" means. I'm assuming that the assignment requires you to imagine what would have happened if things had been different for these characters in these plays. For example, what would have happened if Romeo and Juliet did not belong to feuding families? What if Romeo hadn't killed himself before Juliet awakened? And for Claudio and Hero, what would have happened if the misunderstandings hadn't occurred? What if Hero hadn't pretended to be dead? What if Leonato hadn't helped the couple by arranging Claudio's marriage with Hero? You can describe the potential conclusions in these scenarios.

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