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Much Ado About Nothing

Much Ado About Nothing


by William Shakespeare

Analysis: Allusions

When authors refer to other great works, people, and events, it’s usually not accidental. Put on your super-sleuth hat and figure out why.

Literature, Philosophy, and Mythology

Troilus (5.2.31) – as in Troilus and Cressida
Leander (5.2.30) – as in Hero and Leander
Europa and Jove (5.4.46-47)
Ovid: Metamorphoses viii – Philemon and his wife, Baucis, entertained Jove in their peasant cottage, not knowing that their guest was Jove (2.1.94-95)
Hercules (2.1.250, 2.1.356, 3.3.136, 4.1.335)
Ate (2.1.252) – goddess of mischief and discord
Cupid (1.1.39-40, 1.1.180, 1.1.249, 1.1.265, 2.1.376, 3.1.23, 3.1.112, 3.2.10)
Diana (4.1.58)
Venus (4.1.61)
Adam (1.1.254, 2.1.63, 2.1.248) – as in the Biblical Adam and Eve

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