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Act 1 Scene 1

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Ms. Mc Caffrey

on 4 January 2017

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Transcript of Act 1 Scene 1

What should a good opening have?

What makes a play different to a novel?

What is noticeably different in the introduction.

What key words do you associate with this genre?
Act 1
The Prince of Aragon, Don Pedro, returns to Messina with Claudio and Bendick, to be welcomed by Leonato.
Leonato's niece Beatrice and Benedick resume their war of words.
Claudio declares his love for Leonato's daughter Hero and is mocked by Benedick, a professed bachelor.
The Prince offers to woo Hero on Claudio's behalf.
The Prince's brother, Don John, declares himself a villain and seeks to spite his brother by spoiling Claudio's intended marriage.
In the opening scene Shakespeare sends signals to the audience about the main characters and the focus of the drama.
We are told that the military conflict is over.
The lightheartedness of the opening conversations signals that Messina is at peace.
Which suggests that the conflict ahead will be about love rather than war, verbal rather than physical.
We hear briefly about Claudio's bravery but the emphasis is on Beatrice's relationship with Benedick
When Claudio's admiration for Hero is mentioned we can guess that the play's focus will be on these four.
Given the menacing presence of Don John and the imagery which suggests that Claudio loves with his eyes rather than his heart, there is potential for tragedy through manipulation and misinterpretation.
The action is set in Messina, a distant city, at the home of Leonato, a rich nobleman.
The Prince's brother, Don John, who was the enemy in the recent conflict, is now supposedly reconciled with his brother.
He is a stereotypical villain.
Claudio is enamoured with Leonato's daughter Hero, but mainly because of her looks.
'she is the sweetest lady that I ever looked on'
Don Pedro offers to woo Hero on Claudio's behalf.
Benedick mocks Claudio's infatuation with Hero.
However, Claudio's first questions about Hero are not romantic, they are about her inheritance and her modesty.
Hero's uncle Antonio is told of Prince's intention to woo Hero at the masked ball .
Antonio informs Leonato, but neither brother realises that the Prince's wooing will be for Claudio not for himself.
Don John's servant Borachio has overheard the conversation of the plan to woo Hero.
He resents Claudio for having defeated him, he sees Claudio's intention Hero as a 'model to build mischief on'.
Act 1
Much Ado About Nothing
Learning Intention:
Investigate A1

What key words do you associate with this genre?
sound effects
Beatrice and Bendick engage in a war of words
'I wonder that you will still be talking, Signor Benedick, nobody marks you'

The couple are more mature, witty and intelligent than Hero and Claudio.
Full transcript