Don Leonato hosts Don Pedro of Aragon and company in his estate. One of Don Pedro’s soldiers falls, Claudio, falls for Leonato’s daughter, Hero, and proposes to her. Don John, Pedro’s bastard brother, plots to destroy the union. Meanwhile, Don Pedro intends to bring together his soldier, Benedick, and Leonato’s niece Beatrice. That might be a problem, since the two completely loathe each other…
I think I read somewhere that Hero and Claudio were supposed to be the main couple, but they were ridiculously boring. Hero had no personality, at all, while Claudio had no gumption or opinion of his own. He let other people’s thoughts and opinions cloud his judgment, without even thinking things through.
Benedick and Beatrice were the real stars of the play for me. I enjoyed every scene they had together, particularly in the beginning where all they did was trade barbs.
Beat. A dear happiness to women! They would else have been troubled with a pernicious suitor. I thank God and my cold blood, I am of your humour for that. I had rather hear my dog bark at a crow than a man swear he loves me.
Bene. God keep your ladyship still in that mind! So some gentleman or other shall scape a predestinate scratch'd face.
Beat. Scratching could not make it worse an 'twere such a face as yours were.Buuuuuuuuuuuuurn. I never thought Shakespeare would be able to make me laugh out loud, but the Bard proved me wrong once again. He’s so witty, and Benedick and Beatrice’s repartee could still be used in modern conversations.
This was the first time that I REALLY read Shakespeare. I read Hamlet before, but my edition also contained a modern line-by-line translation. I surprised myself by understanding most of the dialogue, but there were some parts where I felt like I was just floundering around. This problem was remedied when I saw the film version starring Kenneth Branagh. Most of the dialogue I didn’t understand before—including a whole lot of innuendos—suddenly became clear to me.
I really enjoyed Much Ado About Nothing. The only thing I didn’t like was Don John. He wasn’t that bad of a villain, and I guess the characters really made much ado about nothing.