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Much Ado About Nothing

Much Ado About Nothing


by William Shakespeare

Much Ado About Nothing Language and Communication Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Act.Scene.Line) Line numbers correspond to the Riverside edition.

Quote #7

She told me, not thinking I
had been myself, that I was the Prince's jester, that I
was duller than a great thaw, huddling jest upon jest
with such impossible conveyance upon me that I
stood like a man at a mark with a whole army
shooting at me. She speaks poniards, and every
word stabs. If her breath were as terrible as her
terminations, there were no living near her; she
would infect to the North Star. (2.1.239-247)

Benedick is undone by Beatrice’s quick tongue before he’s undone by his love for her. (Or maybe it’s her quick tongue that makes him love her.)

Quote #8

Ha! 'Against my will I am sent to bid you
come in to dinner.' There's a double meaning in
that. 'I took no more pains for those thanks than
you took pains to thank me.' That's as much as to 
say 'Any pains that I take for you is as easy as
thanks.' If I do not take pity of her, I am a villain; if I
do not love her, I am a Jew. I will go get her picture. (2.3.259-265)

Benedick convinces himself that there’s underlying romantic meaning in Beatrice’s words, even when that’s obviously not the case. Love has the power to make us see what we want in conversation.

Quote #9

Good Margaret, run thee to the parlor.
There shalt thou find my cousin Beatrice
Proposing with the prince and Claudio.
Whisper her ear and tell her I and Ursula
Walk in the orchard and our whole discourse
Is all of her. Say that thou overheardst us,
And bid her steal into the pleachèd bower
Where honeysuckles ripened by the sun
Forbid the sun to enter, like favorites
Made proud by princes, that advance their pride
Against that power that bred it. There will she hide
To listen our purpose. This is thy office.
Bear thee well in it and, leave us alone. (3.1.1-14)

Hero’s descriptive language here is some of the only flowery stuff in the play. From this passage we see that Hero’s ability in language isn’t clever humor, but the ability to find beauty. Just as Beatrice and Benedick’s language reflects their sharp nature, Hero’s beautiful language reflects her sweetness and gentleness.

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