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What is "Much Ado About Nothing" about?

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fresca24 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 4, 2010 at 11:50 PM via web

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What is "Much Ado About Nothing" about?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted January 4, 2010 at 11:59 PM (Answer #1)

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This play is a romantic comedy, although it does have some moments that are more serious.

The basic plot of play is that four men have come to the house of Leonato, governor of Messina in Siciliy.  They are Don John, Don Pedro, Claudio, and Benedick.

Once they get there, Claudio falls in love Leonato's daughter Hero and she falls for him as well. They and her father agree that the two will marry.

While they wait for that, they amuse themselves by trying to convince Benedick and Beatrice (Leonato's niece) that they love each other, even though they really don't get along.

Don John is the bad guy and he makes Claudio think Hero has been cheating on him.  So their wedding is off but Benedick and Beatrice get married instead.

At the end, Hero and Claudio do get married and Don John is arrested.

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mkcapen1 | Middle School Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted January 5, 2010 at 1:55 AM (Answer #2)

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The play is a farce. "Much Ado about Nothing" is about trickery which is meant to create laughter.  The play evolves around a group of soldiers.  Three of them have just returned from a military campaign.  The three are close friends that share a strong male bond; Don Pedro of Arragon, Benedict of Padua and Claudio of Florence.  Benedict is secretly in love with Leonato’s niece, Beatrice.  However, they always argue and it appears as if they have contempt for each other.

Leonato has a lovely daughter named Hero.  Claudio, who had subdued his adversary Don Juan in battle, falls in love with Hero and intends to marry her.  She is pure and chaste and all that he desires.  Don Juan wanting to stir up trouble tries to get Claudio to believe that Hero loves Don Pedro.  When the trick fails he gets one of his men, Borachio, to have a woman who is sweet on him, Margaret, to dress and pretend to be Hero. Margaret appears at the window in Hero's clothing and Borachio makes it look like they are fooling around.

At her wedding the next day a stunned and angry Claudio, who has seen Hero with Borachio, becomes angry and denounces Hero.

"She knows the heat of a luxurious bed”

Her father takes Claudio's word and ostracizes her.  There is a lot of drama and crying.  The poor girl's life is wrecked.  Friar Francis pleads her case of innocence to her father.  Claudio thinks that Hero took her life.  He feels guilty and wants to make amends.  He agrees to marry a relative of Hero's father.  On the wedding day he learns he is marrying Hero.  He realizes she is innocent and pure.  Benedick and Beautrice face their love and all is well.  It was “Much Ado about Nothing."

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wanderista | TA , Grade 11 | Valedictorian

Posted October 3, 2013 at 12:15 PM (Answer #4)

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The play is a comedy that follows the relationships of two couples, Benedick and Beatrice and Hero and Claudio, and the events before, during and after their marriages. The audience observes the actions of each of the couples and associated characters, showing how the bad characters lose out and the good characters prevail.

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little-alice | Student, Undergraduate | Salutatorian

Posted May 27, 2010 at 10:19 PM (Answer #3)

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Much Ado About Nothing is a confusing play, but, one of my favorites; As soldiers come to beatiful Messina after a civil war imbetween two brothers for the throne, they stop at Sir Leonato's house in Messina; where the two female cousins who will end up in a love confusion a-wait.

Claudio and Hero "fall in love at first sight" but, as many readers wonder, are they really in love? And Sir Benedick and Beatrice go through an "I hate you phase" until tricked to realize they love each other.

As Claudio is about to marry Hero, Don Jon The Bastard tries to make Claudio forbid the wedding by showing him that "Hero" is having relations with Borachio, when it really is a maid/nurse. Hero is called a whore on her wedding day and she ends up "dead" until the truth is shown. During this time Benedick and Beatrice fall in love. Claudio thinks he is about to marry Beatrice, but it ends up being Hero.

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