How Far Do You Agree That Good Comedy Is Tragedy Narrowly Averted

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How far do you agree that Much Ado About Nothing shows the truth of the claim that “good comedy is tragedy narrowly averted”? “Good comedy is tragedy narrowly averted”: these words were spoken by Jonathon Bate and Eric Rasmussen in their publishing of ‘William Shakespeare: Complete Works’. They show how many elements of comedy could be interpreted as almost tragic. The comedy in Much Ado About Nothing is often created when the audience can see that something could go horribly wrong, however it is saved in the nick of time. A sense of relief and light-heartedness is created, as customarily comedy is known to end in a meeting of characters at a gleeful point in time or occasion; most frequently with a wedding. There are many situations…show more content…
The humiliation caused to Hero in the event would be inconceivable to an audience at the time, being accused of adultery would no doubt ruin a woman’s reputation and therefore create difficulty for her when finding a husband; especially for a woman of high status such as Hero. Claudio is being presented as a potential threat at this part in the play, contrasting with the gallant war hero we were first introduced to. This emphasizes how bitter and sinister Claudio has turned, consequently reminding the audience by irony that is he only interested in wealth and status when marrying Hero. Claudio’s shallow fickleness plays into the villain’s hands. Shakespeare uses the threat of Claudio to generate further anxiety in the audience and concern for Hero’s welfare. This scene shows the men of the play coinciding with each other in their response to the defamation of Hero. Don Pedro personally insults Hero during the commotion of this scene, “to link my dear friend to a common stale,” he suggests here that he believes her status has been lowered by what she has supposedly done and rendered her ‘common’. This personal attack on Hero which has come from someone who shouldn’t really be involved advocates the idea that she is isolated in a patriarchal society in which men group together to defend male interests. Hero’s reputation is being publicly ruined here, and at the time this would have ruined Hero’s life and her

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