Much ADO about Nothing

Much ADO about Nothing

4.1 45
by William Shakespeare

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Imaginative, exuberant comedy contrasts two pairs of lovers in a witty and suspenseful battle of the sexes.  See more details below


Imaginative, exuberant comedy contrasts two pairs of lovers in a witty and suspenseful battle of the sexes.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
This entertaining retelling of the Shakespeare comedy includes extracts from the original text and is illustrated with expressive cartoon-like drawings. The story is preceded with an illustrated character list for easy reference. It is part of The Shakespeare Collection that includes retellings of Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, A Midsummer's Night Dream, Twelfth Night, Antony and Cleopatra, and The Tempest. The text of each book has been reviewed by Kathy Elgin of the Royal Shakespeare Company. The distinguished publisher, Oxford University Press, pegs the age range at 7 to 10. The publisher's web site says that these lively books make Shakespeare accessible to a young audience, sparking a lifelong interest in the Bard and his world. Although the text is quite readable, it seems unlikely to me that the specified age group would be interested in a tale of love, hate, and deception set in the far past. Isn't there a danger that children 10 and under may be turned off forever by a tale so irrelevant to them? The book would seem to be more useful for those who want a quick introduction or review of the plot, perhaps before seeing the play. 2002, Oxford University Press,
— Janet Crane Barley
School Library Journal
Gr 3-5-These series titles aim to make the Bard's words accessible via free-prose adaptations. The formulaic retellings convey the plot lines of two popular comedies, but all evidence of his poetic genius is missing. Instead, modern slang expressions and/or cliches, such as Toby Belch's complaining of Olivia's "mooching around gloomy rooms" and Andrew's dancing "like a drunken flamingo," replace Shakespeare's more fluid language, trivializing his words. The characters are all included, introduced through pictures at the beginning of each volume, but all but the two main ones remain completely two-dimensional, and the relationships among them are unclear. This is particularly true in Much Ado, a complicated story with incidental characters whose purpose in the play is difficult to discern. For instance, Conrad and Borachio suddenly appear, but there is little sense as to why they are part of the plot against Claudio. The cartoon watercolor renderings, alternating between black-and-white and color, vary from quarter- to half-page in size and suggest the style used by animators. Thus, while they do reinforce the stories, there is a sameness among them, adding to the lack of character development. In fact the characters' images could be interchanged, even between plays, without much confusion. These books are no substitute either for the originals or even for Marchette Chute's classic Stories from Shakespeare (World, 1956; o.p.).-Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, LaSalle Academy, Providence, RI Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

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Hodder Education
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Meet the Author

William Shakespeare (26 April 1564 (baptised) - 23 April 1616) was an English poet, playwright and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon". His extant works, including some collaborations, consist of about 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and a few other verses, the authorship of some of which is uncertain. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.

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