Much Ado About Nothing Comedy Essay

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It could be argued that although comedy is present throughout ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ seriousness is present all the same. Shakespeare simultaneously exposes the audience to comedy and seriousness in ‘Much Ado About Nothing’, where some may interpret a scene to be comedic others may interpret it to a serious comment on aspects of society. Shakespeare uses comedy to both entertain and highlight issues of class and gender inequalities dominant in the Elizabethan era. The characters of Beatrice and Benedick offer a way in which Shakespeare can challenge Elizabethan gender constructs. For example Beatrice claims that she will not marry until ‘God make men of some other metal than earth’, this would have contrasted with the norms of an Elizabethan…show more content…
Shakespeare contrasts this scene with the comedy in the seen in Act 2, Scene 1; Benedick is sure that behind a mask Beatrice will not know who he is but comedy lies in the fact that both the audience and Beatrice know it is in fact him behind the mask. This is shown when Beatrice refers to Benedick as the ‘prince’s jester’ knowing that his façade will fall. This scene directly contrasts to the next where more details of Don John’s plan are revealed and the audience are made aware he not only aims to “undo Hero” but also to “kill Leonato”. The seriousness of this scene is highlighted by the lack of seriousness in the last scene and the lack of comedy in this scene. However, his character can be seen as a victim as although he is portrayed as the antagonist Don John’s desire to cause distress is linked to the stigma surrounding him being labelled a ‘bastard’. Society has made him an outcast because of his parentage. In turn, he has lashed out by deliberately manipulating the lives of those who would originally branded him an outsider. Therefore, through Don John Shakespeare could have been trying to criticise society’s tendency to label, judge and forces individuals to become outsiders. This is something that is relevant to a contemporary and
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