Much Ado About Nothing (Folger Shakespeare Library)

Much Ado About Nothing (Folger Shakespeare Library)

William Shakespeare, Barbara A. Mowat, Paul Werstine

Language: English

Pages: 246

ISBN: 0743482751

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Much Ado About Nothing includes two quite different stories of romantic love. Hero and Claudio fall in love almost at first sight, but an outsider, Don John, strikes out at their happiness. Beatrice and Benedick are kept apart by pride and mutual antagonism until others decide to play Cupid.

The authoritative edition of Much Ado About Nothing from The Folger Shakespeare Library, the trusted and widely used Shakespeare series for students and general readers, includes:

-Freshly edited text based on the best early printed version of the play

-Full explanatory notes conveniently placed on pages facing the text of the play

-Scene-by-scene plot summaries

-A key to the play’s famous lines and phrases

-An introduction to reading Shakespeare’s language

-An essay by a leading Shakespeare scholar providing a modern perspective on the play

-Fresh images from the Folger Shakespeare Library’s vast holdings of rare books

-An annotated guide to further reading

Essay by Gail Kern Paster

The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, is home to the world’s largest collection of Shakespeare’s printed works, and a magnet for Shakespeare scholars from around the globe. In addition to exhibitions open to the public throughout the year, the Folger offers a full calendar of performances and programs. For more information, visit

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petty traffickers,” curtsy and thereby “do ... reverence” to their superiors, the merchant prince’s ships, which are “Like signiors and rich burghers.” On the other hand, it is a mistake to think that except for verbal pictures the Elizabethan stage was bare. Although Shakespeare’s Chorus in Henry V calls the stage an “unworthy scaffold” (Prologue 1.10) and urges the spectators to “eke out our performance with your mind” (Prologue 3.35), there was considerable spectacle. The last act of Macbeth,

snobbish opinion that “the man from Stratford” simply could not have written the plays because he was a country fellow without a university education and without access to high society. Anyone, the argument goes, who used so many legal terms, medical terms, nautical terms, and so forth, and who showed some familiarity with classical writing, must have attended a university, and anyone who knew so much about courtly elegance and courtly deceit must himself have moved among courtiers. The plays do

discourse conversation Claudio. O, very well, my lord. The music ended, We’ll fit the kid fox with a pennyworth.° Enter Balthasar with music. Don Pedro. Come, Balthasar, we’ll hear that song again. Balthasar. O, good my lord, tax not so bad a voice To slander music any more than once. Don Pedro. It is the witness still of excellency To put a strange face on his own perfection. I pray thee sing, and let me woo no more. Balthasar. Because you talk of wooing, I will sing, Since many a wooer

to play them? Before I answer that very simple question let me ask another. Why is it that Da Ponte’s “dramma giocosa,” entitled Don Giovanni, a loathsome story of a coarse, witless, worthless libertine, who kills an old man in a duel and is finally dragged down through a trapdoor to hell by his twaddling ghost, is still, after more than a century, as “immortal” as Much Ado? Simply because Mozart clothed it with wonderful music, which turned the worthless words and thoughts of Da Ponte into a

sources. Kökeritz, Helge. Shakespeare’s Names (1959). A guide to pronouncing some 1,800 names appearing in Shakespeare. ———Shakespeare’s Pronunciation (1953). Contains much information about puns and rhymes, but see Cercignani (above). Muir, Kenneth. The Sources of Shakespeare’s Plays (1978). An account of Shakespeare’s use of his reading. It covers all the plays, in chronological order. Miriam Joseph, Sister. Shakespeare’s Use of the Arts of Language (1947). A study of Shakespeare’s use of

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