A Marxist Study of Much Ado About Nothing

2206 WordsJul 31, 20119 Pages
A Marxist study of Much Ado About Nothing Using the Marxist approach to one of Shakespeare’s comedies, Much Ado About Nothing, this essay deals with the unconscious of the text in order to reveal the ideology of the text (as buried in what is not said) so as to discover the hegemony behind the text. The ideology perpetuated in Much Ado About Nothing revolves around, centrally, ensuring the needs and insecurities of the aristocratic – the need for a patriarchal power, the need to reject, stigmatize and dominate the lower class and women. According to Elliot Krieger in A Marxist Study of Shakespeare’s Comedies, there is a “primary world” and a “second world” in each of Shakespeare’s comedies. The second world is a location towards which…show more content…
(In the second world of Don John, deception is employed to slander Hero and defame her honour. Its destruction goes as far as providing an unconscious imaginary land for men to relieve their fears about women, suggesting their sadistic desire to attack women so as to affirm their virility. After being publicly shamed, Hero can do nothing but swoon; Beatrice also suffers in great frustration; as she feels the constraints of a woman, she cries: “Is he not approved in the height a villain, that/hath slandered, scorned, dishonoured my kinswoman? O/that I were a man! …O God, that I were a man! I would eat his heart” (IV. i. 212-214). Masculinity is portrayed as an exclusive power possessed only by the men who could fight back in the face of injustice.) Marriage not only ends the war between Benedick and Beatrice but also maintains the purity of the blood of the upper class. During the time when the play was written, it was unlikely for one, especially a woman of the lower class, to marry one’s social status up. The concept of marriage between members of the same class is unconsciously promoted so that the blood of the lower class would not enter and stain that of the upper class. In granting the consent to Claudio to marry his daughter Hero, Leonato comments, “his

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