Much Ado About Nothing is a comedy by William Shakespeare,which has remained popular among the readers, actors, directors and theater-goers for more than four centuries. So, what is it that makes it so distinguished?
One of the main advantages of the play is its well-composed, funny and fascinating plot. The story describes the adventures of two pairs of lovers – Benedick and Beatrice, and Claudio and Hero. Benedick and Beatrice claim to hate each other and are engaged in a verbal war, proclaiming their scorn for love, marriage and each other. Claudio and Hero, on the other hand, are deeply in love with one another and are happily preparing for the wedding. In the course of action Benedick and Beatrice are tricked into confessing their love for each other, but Claudio at the same time is tricked into rejecting Hero at the altar by a villain Don John. However, Dogberry, a Constable who is a master of the funny and foolish play on words, accidentally discovers the evil trickery of the villain. In the end, Don John is arrested and the young lovers can happily celebrate the marriage of two couples.
Another feature of the play that accounts for it popularity is the exquisiteness of the language with fine rhymes and wonderful subtle irony. Puns and play of words make the dialogue bright, vivid and exciting and the constant use of double meanings with certain implications leaves both the characters and the reader uncertain about the end.
The main theme of the comedy is love, which is the favorite subject of Shakespeare. However, this time love is depicted not as passion or an overwhelming irresistible force, but as a feeling possessing also a funny, comic and ironic side.
So, the action-packed plot, wonderful verbal implementation and the unusual handling of the love theme is something which makes the play so successful.