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Much Ado About Nothing Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. What is Shakespeare actually suggesting about love in this play? Though we come to like Beatrice and Benedick, and to root for their romance, in the end, they get the same reward (marriage) as Claudio and Hero. Is Shakespeare undermining marriage here, by saying it’s not necessarily an indicator of true love? Do Claudio and Hero have true love? Do Beatrice and Benedick?
  2. The only way to justify all the "ado" about Hero’s virginity is to understand that in Shakespeare’s day, all a woman really brought to a marriage was her chastity. It seems our modern mores, being different than Shakespeare’s, that make the foundation of the play a little tenuous. If this scandal of disloyalty before a wedding were to crop up today, would the same brouhaha occur? Is it fair to say that this fuss is really "about nothing"?
  3. Is there a hero in this play (besides, er, Hero)? Are there any characters you trust to be simply "good" people, or do each of the characters transform too much in order to trust them?
  4. Beatrice and Benedick’s love seems the most believable in the play, though it’s originally couched in mutual hatred. This scheme of "I say I hate you, so I mean I love you" is as old as school children’s habits on the playground. Why is this tradition of masked love such a time-honored device? What does it say about the power of love? Further, is there a possibility that Benedick and Beatrice really do hate each other, and are only tricked into romance by circumstance and to prove they aren’t proud?

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