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Much Ado About Nothing

Introduction Lesson
by

Leandra Ferguson

on 18 April 2017

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Transcript of Much Ado About Nothing

1564 - 1616
William Shakespeare
Comedy
Setting Assignment
Much Ado About Nothing
is set in Messina, a city on the northeast tip of Sicily.
Using the Internet research the history of the setting. Your research should include information about Messina, the island of Sicily, and Italy. Focus on the time period in which the play occurs, and include any significant facts about the world at that time. Use this research to complete the Setting Chart
Much ABOUT NOTHING
PLAY OVERVIEW
by: William Shakespeare
Much Ado About Nothing
Journal # 13
Everyone loves to laugh. Write a short, funny story. This can be completely made up, or it can be a moment you witnessed or experienced.
List five interesting facts about Shakespeare's life that stands out the most to you.
Plot Overview
As the title of this play suggests... there’s a lot of fuss over nothing!
Exposition:
The play opens at the home of Leonato, governor of Messina.
Residents of the household include his daughter Hero, his niece Beatrice, and his brother Antonio.
They prepare to welcome the army of Don Pedro, who are returning victoriously from battle.
In Don Pedro’s company are the soldiers Claudio and Benedick. Claudio is the hero of the recent battle.
Conflicts:
Love
Hate
Deceit
Be Prepared for Plot Twists
Leonato
: Governer of Messina
Hero
: Leonato’s daughter
Beatrice
: Leonato’s niece, best friend to Hero
Margaret
: One of Hero’s two serving women
Ursula
: One of Hero’s two serving women
Don Pedro
: Prince of Aragon, longtime friend of Leonato
Claudio
: A soldier and nobleman who loves Hero
Benedick
: Another aristocrat-soldier under Don Pedro
Balthasar
: A musician and servant in Leonato’s household.
Don John
: Don Pedro’s illegitimate brother.
Borachio
: Don John’s servant and Margaret’s lover.
Conrade
: Don John’s other servant.
Dogberry
: Master Constable.
Verges
: Dogberry’s deputy.
George Seacole
: A member of the watch
THEMES
AS YOU READ, CONSIDER WHAT SHAKESPEARE IS COMMUNICATING ABOUT THE FOLLOWING TOPICS:
MOTIFS
DEFINITION: a situation, incident, idea, or image that is repeated significantly in a literary work
CHARACTERS
REALITY VS. APPEARANCE
GENDER ROLES
the battle of the sexes
LOVE
RELATIONSHIPS
parent-child, friendships, family, etc.
TAKING NOTE of someone or something/ refusing to take note
HARMONY & DISRUPTION
APPEARANCE VS. REALITY
DECEPTION - by others and self-deception
PERCEPTION - perceiving things correctly or incorrectly
Elizabethan Theater 1558-1603 :
time when theater transitioned from religious to secular themes
Elements of Elizabethan comedy
1. struggle between young lovers
2. Mistaken Identity
3. Plot twist
4. Use of puns
5. stock characters
6. happy endings (usually a wedding)
Key Unit Terms
Devices used by Shakespeare
soliloquy
- lines in a play in which a character reveals thoughts to audience, but not to other characters.
foil
- a character whose qualities/ actions serve to emphasize a main character through contrast.
pun
- an expression that achieves emphasis/ humor by utilizing 2 distinctly different meanings for the same word
or
2 similar sounding words.
double entendre
- a type of pun in which a word or phrase has two or more different meanings, one is usually an innuendo.
irony
- the opposite of what is expected
malapropism
- misuse of the word for humorous effect.
An amusing and entertaining drama.
Comedy is often contrasted with tragedy because it ends happily and presents “lighter side” of life
it generally represents the experiences of ordinary people in common or vernacular language
Definition
Farce (Low Comedy)
High Comedy

Comedy of Ideas/Satire

Inconsistencies of Character

Verbal Wit


Plot Devices

Physical Mishaps

Obscenity
Comedic Ladder
Entertainment
Comedy is successful in changing our emotional support.
Similarly, comedy allows for changes in the audience by allowing us to feel superior to the comic character.
We can look at the character and say, “I hope I am not like that fool.”
But we know we do have something in common with the fool’s blind repetition of an action.
Purpose
Influences on Renaissance Drama
1. Schools and Universities provide translations of Roman and Greek plays.
2. The Inns of Court combined residences and training centers for lawyers were developed to study and imitate drama.
3. The Heritage of Medieval Drama - old farces, religious plays, and mixed forms of play were studied.

3 Fundamental Ideas of Renaissance Period
1. The concept of ego. The majesty of man must be exalted!
2. The concept of individuality. Nothing seemed beyond the capability of the Renaissance artist.
3. The concept of virtuosity. Man has multiple capabilities and breadth of vision: art was a business and man practiced art well.
Shakespeare's Comedies
are very much about casting a net over the whole of humanity and reproducing our distinctiveness and quests on stage
his sense of comedy is instinctive
they are a more daring and a more imaginative undertaking
Think about your favorite comedy - play, TV show, or film. What makes it so funny?
What sorts of comedic techniques do the author's use?
Is it high or low comedy?
Make a Prediction!
Based on what you already know what do you think is going to happen?
Share with a partner
Exit Ticket
With a partner, review elements of a tragedy (Antigone & Macbeth) and compare and contrast it to elements of a comedy.
Full transcript