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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 #1

I pray you, is Signior Mountanto returned
from the wars or no? (1.1.30-31)

Through the play we get used to Beatrice talking with Benedick in a less-than-straightforward way. In this line, she uses a name for Benedick that no one knows. Also, this is Beatrice’s first line in the play—it’s significant that her first words are a reference to Benedick.

Quote #2

I would my horse had the speed of your
tongue, and so good a continuer, but keep your
way, i' God's name, I have done.
You always end with a jade's trick. I know
you of old. (1.1.139-143)

Benedick drops out of the argument because he can’t keep up with Beatrice. The two characters use their language as weapons, but never seem to be able to end or resolve their fights.

Quote #3

I thank you. I am not of many words, but I
thank you. (1.1.154-155)

Don John doesn’t use language as deftly or frequently as the other characters. He speaks little, and speaks straight. You might argue that Don John is a dangerous character because he’s guarded with his words. 

All of the other main characters say an awful lot (even if their meanings are a little veiled). Don John, by not saying much, shows that he is concealing something, and is not to be trusted. It’s the "sticks and stones" notion—words can be bandied about easily, and can be forgiven easily too. Don John, however, seems to prefer real harm over intangible words.

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