Much Ado About Nothing by William ShakespeareMuch Ado About Nothing, abridged.
CLAUDIO: So, um, Hero, I sorta maybe like you a whole lot will you go to the prom with me?
HERO: We should get married! Squeeeeeee!
BEATRICE: Pfft. Love is for stupid losers who are stupid.
BENEDICK: You know, you might get laid more often if you werenít such a cynical bitch all the time.
BEATRICE: Fuck you.
BENEDICK: Get in line, sugartits.
*audience is beaten over the head by sexual tension*
DON PEDRO: Hey everybody, I had a great idea! Letís make Beatrice and Benedick fall in love!
EVERYONE: YAY! MEDDLING!
PRINCE JOHN: So, I think Iím going to break up Claudio and Hero.
BORACHIO: Really? Thatís your dastardly scheme? How do we possibly benefit from that?
PRINCE JOHN: No, see, I donít like Claudio because my half-brother likes him, and I hate my half brother, soÖwait. Okay, so itís actually a really pointless plan that only serves to create conflict. But itís the only way I get any good scenes in this thing, so MISCHIEF AHOY!
BORACHIO AND CONRADE: YAY!
BEATRICE: Hey Benedick, you still suck donkey balls.
BENEDICK: I fart in your general direction! Now go away or I shall taunt you a second time!
BEATRICE: I dont want to talk to you no more, you empty-headed animal food trough wiper!
PRINCE JOHN: So guess what Claudio? Your woman totally cheated on you. I saw, I was there.
CLAUDIO: OMG I HATE THAT WHORE.
DON PEDRO: Despite the fact that heís a bastard in all senses of the word and has no reason to be helping me or my friends, I think we should believe John without proof or even asking Heroís side of the story.
CLAUDIO: Hero, youíre a shameless whore and I hate your stupid face!
PRIEST: Great job, now Heroís dead from sad.
CLAUDIO: OMG I AM SO REMORSEFUL. FORGIVE ME, DEAD HERO!
HERO: Pysche! Iím really okay!
BEATRICE: Luckily THIS time the priestís idea to fake a girlís death to solve all her problems actually worked, instead of backfiring horribly.
BENEDICK: Hey, thatís pretty funny. You know, I guess youíre not that bad. I think I love you, and stuff.
BEATRICE: Yeah, I guess I kind of love you too.
ANTONIO: Close enough. Now off to kill Prince John!
Dates and sources
Much Ado About Nothing written by William Shakespeare, is considered one of his most endearing and best comedic plays. It is believed to have been written between and , and is considered to be a perfect combination of humor and serious contemplations on subjects of shame, public honor, and bureaucratic politics. Evolution in language has somewhat confused the meaning around the title of this play. In Shakespeare's era the word "noting" was pronounced "nothing," and its definition was that of gossip, overhearing, and rumor. Despite this vernacular difference, the play has been popular throughout the ages since its original performance. The play begins in Messina, where a messenger brings news that the prince from Aragon, Don Pedro, will return triumphant after winning a battle.
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Much Ado About Nothing is a comedy by William Shakespeare thought to have been written in and , as Shakespeare was approaching the middle of his career. The play was included in the First Folio , published in By means of "noting" which, in Shakespeare's day, sounded similar to "nothing" as in the play's title,   and which means gossip, rumour, and overhearing , Benedick and Beatrice are tricked into confessing their love for each other, and Claudio is tricked into rejecting Hero at the altar on the erroneous belief that she has been unfaithful. At the end, Benedick and Beatrice join forces to set things right, and the others join in a dance celebrating the marriages of the two couples. In Messina , a messenger brings news that Don Pedro, a prince from Aragon , will return that night from a successful battle, Claudio being among his soldiers.
The play takes an ancient themeóthat of a woman falsely accused of unfaithfulnessóto brilliant comedic heights. Shakespeare sets up a contrast between the conventional Claudio and Hero, who have the usual expectations of each other, and Beatrice and Benedick , who are highly skeptical of romance and courtship and, seemingly, each other. This malicious fiction is soon dispelled, but Claudio seems not to have learned his lesson; he believes Don John a second time, and on a much more serious chargeóthat Hero is actually sleeping with other men, even on the night before her impending wedding to Claudio. Supported by Don Pedro, who also accepts the story based on seeming visual evidence , Claudio publicly rejects Hero at the wedding ceremony. She is so shamed that her family is obliged to report that she is dead. Former friends are near the point of mayhem until the revelations of the night watch prove the villainy of Don John and the innocence of Hero. Both have a reputation for being scornful and wary of marriage.
Discover when Much Ado About Nothing was written and the sources Shakespeare may have used to inspire his story. Will Kemp, the comedian who is known to have played Dogberry, left the Lord Chamberlain's Company during The Beatrice and Benedick plot is thought to be largely Shakespeare's own invention. The English text includes a remark that some fell in love 'onely for that they heard say the opinion of many was that they loved together'. The plays of John Lyly also featured witty couples who scorn love but then succumb to Cupid's darts.