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The Themes Of Noting And Deception In Much Ado About Nothing

1918 words - 8 pages

The Themes of Noting and Deception in Much Ado About Nothing

"Discuss the themes of 'noting' and 'deception' in Much Ado About
Nothing"

The play 'Much Ado About Nothing' was written by Williams Shakespeare
in the late 1600's and over four centuries later it is still a
significantly popular play and has widespread appeal.

The play explores many themes including love, treachery, friendship,
society and traditions. These five themes mentioned are still very
much relevant in a lot of people's lives today. You'll find that a lot
of television programmes, movies, magazines and novels are structured
around at least one or more of these themes, if not all at the same
time.

The title 'Much Ado About Nothing' gives you the impression that the
play involves characters making a huge deal about nothing significant
and worrying over irrelevancies. The structure of 'Much Ado About
Nothing' is composed of three hoaxes, four withheld secrets, and three
metamorphoses so reality that might actually be true. The reason being
the play simply but cunningly tails the relationships of four main
characters within the play, Beatrice, Benedick, Claudio and Hero.
Although the structure of the play is based on the deception of
Claudio in order to bring his love for fair Hero to an end, the
highlight of the play is provided by the deception of Beatrice and
Benedick with the objective of making them recognize or acknowledge
their true affection towards each other. Only then does the play
arrive at its climax.

Noting, deception and truth are the three main themes that make up the
play, deception being the main theme, some deceive spitefully and
others with best interests at heart. Nearly all of the characters in
the play have at one point been deceived, been a deceiver or made some
interference with what they see or hear, and accordingly making each
character behave in the manner that they do.

Throughout the play Shakespeare uses the wittiness of the numerous
characters taking part in the performance to demonstrate his fondness
of using puns, sexual innuendos and creating double meanings. Puns,
sexual innuendos and double meanings can be a technique of deception,
the title 'Much Ado About Nothing' being the very first example. This
is due to the way Shakespeare plays with the word 'nothing' in the
title 'Much Ado About Nothing'.

In the late 16th century the word 'nothing' would have been pronounced
'noting' Thus, the play's title could read: "Much Ado About Noting".
Already Shakespeare hints that there might be a double meaning
involving the word 'nothing'. Without a doubt many of the players
participate in the actions of observing, listening and writing, or
noting.

Also, in Shakespeare's period, a 'thing' referred to a man's genitals,
so therefore the word 'no-thing' may have been an...

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