Much Ado About Nothing Marriage

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It has been argued that marriage is “often fraught with disappointment”. To what extent is this true of marriage in Much Ado about Nothing? Marriage is at the heart of Much Ado about Nothing; from the very beginning of the first scene to the very last, marriage is a constant reference. However, even though the play is a typical Shakespearean comedy, it raises some significantly serious issues such as that of marriage. Marriage is normally associated with happiness, respect and companionship. Shakespeare’s portrayal of marriage suggests that to a great extent it is “often fraught with disappointment”. Through this he actually subverts gender roles and conventions of the time. Firstly, early on in the play questions are raised regarding the fidelity in a marriage; Leonato openly questions the fidelity of his wife once asked if Hero is his daughter. His response:…show more content…
a serious thread, and sometimes a background with a tragic outlook. Life is not all gloom or all delight”² (Denton Jaques Snider). This is very true in the case of Much Ado about Nothing as whilst the play is a comedy, Shakespeare explores the very sensitive and serious issue of marriage being “often fraught with disappointment”. He cleverly explores this mainly through the idea of ‘cuckoldry’ and being a ‘cuckold’ or a ‘cuckquean’ which is the ultimate disappointment of marriage for both men and women. Much Ado about Nothing therefore portrays that to a large extent marriage is often fraught with disappointment: Leonato’s questions of infidelity, Hero’s disgrace at her own wedding and Benedick’s fear of being a ‘cuckold’. On the other hand, marriage isn’t solely presented as disappointing, Shakespeare emphasises the idea that marriage can bring nothing but utter happiness; even Beatrice and Benedick (a pair who detested the idea of marriage) end up falling in love and getting married. After all the chaos and disorder, a wedding is a way of restoring
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