What does the play say about relationships between women and men?
Much ado about nothing
1. Speech and conversation are important in the play, and many of the characters have distinctive ways of speaking. How do the characters’ speech patterns differ?
2. How do gossip, conversation, and overhearing function in the play?
3. Why might it be hard to believe that Hero and Claudio really love each other?
4. What does the play say about relationships between women and men?
· A central theme in the play is trickery or deceit, whether for good or evil purposes. Counterfeiting, or concealing one’s true feelings, is part of this theme. Good characters as well as evil ones engage in deceit as they attempt to conceal their feelings: Beatrice and Benedick mask their feelings for one another with bitter insults, Don John spies on Claudio and Hero. Who hides and what is hidden? How does deceit function in the world of the play, and how does it help the play comment on theater in general?
· In this play, accusations of unchaste and untrustworthy behavior can be just as damaging to a woman’s honor as such behavior itself. Is the same true for the males in the play? How is a man’s honor affected by accusations of untrustworthiness or unfaithfulness? Do sexual fidelity and innocence fit into the picture in the same way for men as it does for women? Examine the question of honor and fidelity as it relates to four male characters in the play: Benedick, Leonato, Claudio, and Don Pedro. What could Shakespeare be saying about the difference between male and female honor?
About nothing Study guide
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