Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare
Much Ado About Nothing is a comedic play written by William Shakespeare. The play is estimated to have written around 1598 and 1599. The play was published in 1623 and included in the First Folio. Much Ado About Nothing is considered one of the best comedies of Shakespeare. The play includes interesting elements of love, mistaken identities, and hilarity surrounded by more serious subjects of shame, honor, and court politics.
The plot of Much Ado About Nothing revolves around the protagonist Don Pedro, the Prince of Aragon on his visit to the large estate of Leonato. Leonato is a respectable nobleman and the Governor of Messina. Don Pedro is accompanied by his sullen and bitter half-brother, Don John, who reluctantly joins him after Pedro wins the war against him. He is accompanied with two fellow soldiers Claudio and Benedick.
Leonato lives with his young daughter, Hero, and his playful, clever niece, Beatrice. The play is intertwined with two love stories – one between the Leonato’s daughter, Hero and Don’s soldier, Claudio and the other between Beatrice and Benedick. The story becomes hilarious when the Don Pedro helps his subordinate, Claudio propose to his love and ask permission from Leonato. There is momentary confusion in the crowd, regarding who the suitor is as Leonato mistakes Don Pedro as the suitor.
Beatrice and Benedick are holding bad experiences of insult and tease towards one another. They even deny marrying one another but eventually their friends help them in knowing the real love they have for each other. They help Beatrice and Benedick overhear one another’s conversations revealing their true love.
Don John decides to disrupt the crew’s happiness by causing hurdles for his brother, Don Pedro and Claudio. His companion Borachio make an illusion of love-making at Hero’s window with Margaret, Hero’s serving woman. Owing to the darkness of the night, Don Pedro and Claudio watch the scene to misunderstand Hero to be unfaithful. the enraged Claudio humiliates innocent Hero accusing her of infidelity and abandons her at the altar on their wedding ceremony.
Hero’s family manages to hide Hero and pretend her to be dead of shock and grief. They wait for the truth to come to light to prove their daughter’s innocence. Meanwhile, Benedick and Beatrice confess their love for one another. One night Borachio brags about his frauds and fortunately, the night watchmen overhears it. as a result, the heads of local police arrest Borachio and Conrad for their vengeful acts, in favor of Don John.
Everyone comes to know that Hero is not the lady at the window and Claudio has been deceived. However, Claudio becomes worried believing her to be dead, and grieves for her. Leonato asks Claudio to inform the townspeople about Hero’s innocence as a punishment. After the mourning, he agrees to marry one of Hero’s cousins, who Leonato says is a look-alike of Hero. But in reality, she is the disguised Hero herself. When Hero unveils her disguise at the altar, Claudio is overjoyed. At the same day, Beatrice and Benedick also get married after initial arguing. Both the couples celebrate their wedding with merry dance. Meanwhile, Don John, who had managed to escape, is recaptured and the story ends with happiness.