Much ADO about Nothing

Overview

This edition of Much Ado About Nothing, one of Shakespeare's most delightful and theatrically successful comedies, offers, along with a freshly edited text, an exceptionally helpful and critically aware Introduction and commentary. Paying particular attention in his Introduction to analysis of the play's minor characters, Sheldon P. Zitner discusses Shakespeare's social transformation of his source material, rethinking the attitudes to gender relations that underlie the comedy and determine its ruefully ...
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Much Ado About Nothing

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Overview

This edition of Much Ado About Nothing, one of Shakespeare's most delightful and theatrically successful comedies, offers, along with a freshly edited text, an exceptionally helpful and critically aware Introduction and commentary. Paying particular attention in his Introduction to analysis of the play's minor characters, Sheldon P. Zitner discusses Shakespeare's social transformation of his source material, rethinking the attitudes to gender relations that underlie the comedy and determine its ruefully optimistic view of marriage. Interpretations are advanced less because they are arguable than because they are actable. Allowing for the play's openness to re-interpretation by successive generations of readers and performers, the editor provides a socially analytic stage history. Full notes and commentary continue previous editors' work of clarifying textual and performance problems of interest to both readers and actors.

Presents the comedy of two couples who are happily united with the help of bumbling Constable Dogberry. Includes commentary on each page of the text.

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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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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781482512205
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
  • Publication date: 2/12/2013
  • Pages: 140
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.30 (d)

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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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
General Introduction 1
Much Ado About Nothing and the Romantic Comedies 1
Date 5
Sources 6
The Title 14
Place and Setting 16
Organizing the Dramatis Personae 18
Lovers 19
Brothers 38
Gentlewomen, Conspirators, and Others 42
Plot Construction 48
Act, Scene, and Pace 50
Contrasts and Links between Scenes 52
Local Effects 56
Stage History 58
From Text to Prompt-Book 70
Some Problems of Staging 72
Some Recent Directions 75
Textual Introduction 79
'Staying' and Publication 79
Setting the Text 80
'Ghosts' 81
Speech-Prefixes 82
Entrances and Exits 85
The Play in Folio 86
Editorial Procedures 88
Abbreviations and References 90
Much Ado About Nothing 93
Appendix: Music, Song, and Dance 203
Index 207
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 46 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2002

    The Empire Lives On!

    Die hard Star Trek fans can apreciate the complexity of this book and the great efforts put into the whole translation. For the first time Federation readers can apreciate Wil'yam Shex'pIr in his original Klingon text, the way it was and is meant to be. No longer will Terrans be blinded by the Federation forgery of this great Klingon playwright. qo'mey poSmoH Hol ~ Language opens worlds

    2 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2001

    Look Hero And Claudio Were Great

    Hi all, Look this is more than likely my favorite play. I loved ALL OF THE PEOPLE! but honestly Claudio got no respect. He only knew Hero for one week. How was he supposed to know about her morals when all he had were others courting her. Benedick and Beatrice were just exquisite. And Hero was a true maiden lady. Love conquers all.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2004

    This book was great it was magical!

    This book grab me it made me keep on reading till I finshed the book without putting it down. I have one word for this book WOW!

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2000

    Beautiful Play!

    This is one of the best plays that I have ever read. It is truly beautiful. I'ld have to say that Shakespeare is the best play writer that ever lived. His grammar makes his plays unique and different from others. I love all the books that he wrote.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2013

    Oye !

    Vjhhh

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    So Helpful

    The annotations really helped with some of the outdated words and references that Shakespeare used.

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  • Posted June 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Shakespeare...Hero

    William Shakespeare Much Ado about Nothing is one of the many comedy of Shakespeares. I really enjoyed this book alot, I didnt find it much humerous but I did enjoy it. Especially, the character Hero.

    Much Ado about Nothing is a book about a young Lord of Florence name Claudio who falls in love with a girl name Hero. And about a young Lord of Pandua name Benedick who is trick and believing that he is in love with Beatrice(Leonato niece).Benedick and Beatrice both believed almost immediately that what they had overheard their friends saying in the garden was correct and completely true. Neither person decided to test what they had heard. To see if what was said was true. Because both did not check to see if the information they heard was correct, everything worked out. Both assumed what they had heard was true and acted on it. There were no visible consequences. What a mess you would have if Benedick decided that what he had overheard could not possibly be true. Beatrice would have made a fool out of herself while thinking that Benedick felt the same way. The same could be said the other way around.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2005

    Much Ado About Nothing

    Much Ado About Nothing is a great book. When I started reading this book it was for my Language Arts class so I thought, 'This is going to be another boring story that everyone will hate but the teacher.' I had never read Shakespeare before, so the Folger Library Edition helped me a ton by providing definitions to words and phrases every other page. When I was through the first act, I was so interested in the plot that I read the book for pleasure more than for my class. Anyone with a high reading level will enjoy Much Ado About Nothing because it has everything from comedy and marrige to evil plans and mischief. Much Ado About Nothing is rich in meaning and themes. You will have to ponder about the many themes that run throughout the story. Much Ado About Nothing should definently be read by anyone who wants a great read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2005

    And thus far it was, in all forms, good. With all due respect that thus it deserved.

    This book is really entertaining. Although i have yet to completely finish the story. As the plot develps and the characters motives become clear to the reader, it turns into a really enjoyable read for all highschool and some special middle school students. Although the language of the Shakesperian time is difficult to comprehend and understand, the Floger Library Edition provides excellent and understandable plot synopsies and definitions for all the unclear words and ancient english language. This book is not only rich in text, but it is rich in meaning as well. Some may find it really interesting and entertaining that the friends of two absentminded lovers would get tehm to hook up. But then again, some might find pleasure in the destroying of the wedding that takes place at the beginning of the novel. This book was not only a joy to read, but it was also a joy to discuss and will keep you laughing for hours at Dogberry and the gang.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2005

    Much Ado About Nothing

    Much Ado About Nothing is one of the 'forgotten' Shakespearean Plays that lies in the shadows of Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet and A Midsummer's Night's Dream. Being a comedy it is somewhat relieving to know that it has a happy ending. It starts out when Don Pedro's army returns from a victory to Messina. Leonato, Messina's governor, agrees to let Don pedro's army stay in his town for a week. Claudio, a young warrior who performed valiantly in the war, falls in love with Leonato's daughter, Hero. While Claudio tries to win the heart of Hero, Benedick and Beatrice engage in a clash of wit. They both swear never to marry and persistently hate each other. Claudio, with the help of Don Pedro, wins Hero and they are set to marry. Don Pedro comes up with the idea of trying to get Beatirce and Benedick to fall in love with each other. Don Pedro's brother, Don John, wants to break up the marriage of Hero and Claudio so he and his servant, Borachio, devise a plan to fool Claudio. It ends like a typical Shakespearean Comedy and is somewhat interesting. Note: This book is not for the average person who wants to upgrade his/her Shakespearean vocabulary. It will be boring unless you go into it thingking that it is written like a play.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2000

    Beautifully Written.

    Well, Shakespeare has done it again. Much Ado About Nothing is one of my favorite plays. The excitement, tension, mischevious and duplitous schemes, backstabbing, treachery, and suspense just makes you want to continue reading. Great book. GO READ IT PEOPLE!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted June 14, 2009

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    Posted October 27, 2008

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    Posted February 20, 2010

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    Posted November 25, 2009

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    Posted July 28, 2011

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    Posted April 24, 2010

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    Posted October 27, 2008

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    Posted December 31, 2010

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