KILL CLAUDIO! Much Ado About Nothing Continues.

Below is the continuation of Much Ado About Nothing reading all of Act 4.

We see the near marriage of Claudio and Hero, Beatrice and Benedick finally talking and The Watch catching the villains.

The main observation I have is how everybody seems to think the best solution is to simply have people die: Claudio and Hero being the key nominees.

Some Further Character Observations:

Benedick: Respects the words of the women in the play – believes in Beatrice and Hero’s account when most others do not. Switches his allegiance to Beatrice (from the Prince) – tells Beatrice “Come, bid me do anything for thee” and then follows through with it. He also promises to to keep their secret from Don Pedro and Claudio.

Beatrice: Insecure and proud: unwilling to be clear about her feelings even after Benedick has made his position clear. Ruins the romance of the moment with the massively overdramatic and ridiculous “kill Claudio” which might have been the point followed by the useless men rant to redirect the intensity of the moment.

I like the Globe’s adaptation for explaining Beatrice’s outburst here as it puts it in the context of a relatable, desperate rant rather than her meaning every word.

Leonato: Overconfident and domineering – he interrupts and speaks in place of Claudio. Prideful and callous – when Hero has been accused of sleeping around Leonato hopes she’s dead, and if not promises to kill her himself and wishes she wasn’t his biological child so that he would not be associated with her shame.

Margaret: Is she at the wedding, does she witness this as is often the case in plays – if so why doesn’t she speak up as she would know what the Prince and Claudio are referring to. This is more evidence that Margaret is not as innocent as is claimed.

Friar: Intelligent – He realises the truth quickly, devises a plan that fools everybody as intended. which is contrary to how these types of characters are often portrayed.

Further Ado About the Characters

Continuing My reading of Much Ado About Nothing. We’re at the part where the guys are tricking Benedick into thinking Beatrice loves him and the women are doing the same to Beatrice about Benedick.

So far my opinions on the characters are as follows:

Beatrice & Benedick: proud and stubbornly stuck in the strong independent roles they’ve set themselves, neither willing to lose face.

Don Pedro: arrogant; believes in his own superiority and that others should follow his lead.

Claudio: fickle; easily lead.

Don John: inept villain; has no plans of his own just wants to cause trouble in any way he can.

Hero: dutiful daughter, potentially resentful of Beatrice’s quick wit.

Much Ado About Nothing

I don’t think I ever appreciated at school how enjoyable it was to discuss a book, a play, a song or any other piece of creativity with others. I find that particular experience much more difficult to come by as an adult. I suppose it’s partly because we have a lot more freedom to pick and choose our entertainment now, consequently it becomes less likely the people in our lives will all wish to discuss the same piece of fiction, especially if its not a current craze. I image that’s where book clubs and fan clubs come in however they aren’t always a practical option.

Anyway, all of this is a long introduction to the fact I am recording myself reading Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing with my thoughts and ideas along the way as I have no other outlet for my love of the play.