Elements Of Shakespearean Comedy In Much Ado About Nothing

1199 WordsJun 15, 20175 Pages
Shakespearean comedy is defined as containing the following elements: · A struggle of young lovers to overcome problems, often the result of the interference of their elders · There is some element of separation and reunification · Mistaken identities, often involving disguise · A clever servant · Family tensions that are usually resolved in the end · Complex, interwoven plot-lines · Frequent use of puns and other styles of comedy Referring directly to scenes/dialogue/events in the play, Much Ado About Nothing, outline how each of these comedic elements is present. Then, offer an extended discussion/close reading of how the elements of comedy function in one scene or in an exchange between characters. Comedy has been presented in the theatre for thousands of years, since the times of the ancient Greek amphitheatre. Since then, however, playwright William Shakespeare has honed the genre into one that stands alone from all others. The Shakespearean comedy follows a specific set of guidelines, and these protocols are followed veraciously in his comedic play Much Ado About Nothing. His utilisation of all of the elements at his disposal is greatly apparent throughout this play and allows the audience to become immersed in the tale that is being performed in front of them. Shakespeare’s plays are universal in message and their immortality displays the need to understand the human condition. The struggle of young lovers is a recurring theme throughout Much Ado About Nothing, and is embodied through both the relationship between Claudio and Hero and Beatrice and Benedick. The love of Claudio and Hero is an archetype of a courtly romance, and it is the interference of Don John that causes the abhorrent accusation of infidelity. (IV.i) The ensuing ‘death’ of Hero “upon his words” (IV.i.223) separates Hero from Claudio, with the intention of the prospective reunification at the concluding wedding. It is these tensions, as well as the tensions between that of Benedick and Beatrice that are concluded and resolved in the final moments of the play, through their public divulgence of love for one another (V.iv.73-97). Shakespeare’s use of mistaken identity is a crucial crossroads
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