Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare as a Satire Essay

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Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare as a Satire


This essay will analyse the way in which Shakespeare makes this comedy
bitterly satirical, and a comment on not only the pretentious style
and swank of Spaniards, namely Don Pedro and his gang, but human
stupidity as a whole. Much Ado About Nothing portrays the issues of
sex, war, marriage and chivalric courtly love in an ironic and
satirical way. On a topical level, the play satirises Spanish,
Sicilian and Italian aristocrats in the 16th Century, and their
comical dress sense, style of speech and general outlook and their
anachronistic concepts. The appearance of Don Pedro's group of friends
from the outset would be funny, as not only do
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Words like
'hare-finder' are obvious double-entendres with strong sexual
implications, which Claudio seems to miss completely. Here we see that
Benedick's tongue is just as sharp at Beatrice's, and the two witty
and also wisest of characters are introduced. When Claudio mentions
marriage with Hero, this disappoints Benedick, and he immediately
launches into a stab at 'the married man'.

"In faith, hath not the world one man but he will wear his cap with
suspicion?"

This is an obvious reference to cuckolding. A cuckold in Shakespearian
times was always shown wearing two large horns on his head in theatre,
like a yoked and chained bull. The regular references to horns also
relate to this, and are of low sexual humour. Again later on, when Don
Pedro and Claudio are persuading Benedick that he will get married, he
replies with seeming horror.

"If I do, hang me in a bottle like a cat and shoot at me, and he that
hits me, let him be clapped on the shoulder and called Adam."

All this fiery wit and language may be obvious satire, but we wonder
here if Benedick is not a 'professed tyrant to their sex', but merely
afraid of relationships. Therefore Benedick himself is a victim of the
playwright's satire.

The moment Benedick leaves, we see a new…