What are some examples of puns in Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing ?
Characteristic of Shakespeare, since Much Ado About Nothing is a comedy, a vast amount of puns, or play on words, can be found all throughout the play. Listed below are a few:
The first pun can actually be found in the title. The word "nothing" is a pun because the Elizabethan audience would have heard it as "noting." The Elizabethans considered "noting" to be another word for observing, or even eavesdropping, and as we see, the consequences of eavesdropping is a central theme in the play....
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"Claudio: Now you talk of a sheet of paper, I remember a pretty jest your daughter told us of.
Leonato: O, when she had writ it and was reading it over, she found Benedick and Beatrice between the sheet.
The word sheet is used to refer to a piece of paper and used to refer to a bed sheet, with an innuendo placed in between about Beatrice and Benedick.
Beatrice about Claudio: "..civil as an orange" to describe his jealously and bitterness (Seville orange is bitter and yellowish in colour)
The title itself is a major pun "Much ado about nothing" nothing meaning zero, zilch. It also was a slang in Shakespearean times for female genitalia.
Hope this helps ^^