Much Ado About Nothing (Folger Shakespeare Library)
William Shakespeare, Barbara A. Mowat, Paul Werstine
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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 Folger.edu.
additional confirmation from a drawing of the first scene of Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus—the only extant Elizabethan picture of an identifiable episode in a play. (See pp. xxxviii-xxxix.) The drawing, probably done in 1594 or 1595, shows Queen Tamora pleading for mercy. She wears a somewhat medieval-looking robe and a crown; Titus wears a toga and a wreath, but two soldiers behind him wear costumes fairly close to Elizabethan dress. We do not know, however, if the drawing represents an actual
Enter Hero and two Gentlewomen, Margaret and Ursula. Hero. Good Margaret, run thee to the parlor. There shalt thou find my cousin Beatrice Proposing with° the Prince and Claudio. Whisper her ear and tell her, I and Ursley Walk in the orchard, and our whole discourse Is all of her. Say that thou overheard‘st us; And bid her steal into the pleached bower, Where honeysuckles, ripened by the sun, Forbid the sun to enter—like favorites, Made proud by princes, that advance their pride Against that
sir, be patient. For my part, I am so attired in wonder, I know not what to say. Beatrice. O, on my soul, my cousin is belied! Benedick. Lady, were you her bedfellow last night? Beatrice. No, truly, not; although, until last night, I have this twelvemonth been her bedfellow. Leonato. Confirmed, confirmed! O, that is stronger made Which was before barred up with ribs of iron! Would the two princes lie, and Claudio lie, Who loved her so that, speaking of her foulness, Washed it with tears?
233 success what follows 234 event outcome 236 But if ... false but if all conjecture, except this (i.e., the mere supposition of Hero’s death), be aimed (leveled) falsely 239 sort turn out 244 inwardness most intimate feelings Beatrice. You have no reason. I do it freely. Benedick. Surely I do believe your fair cousin is wronged. Beatrice. Ah, how much might the man deserve of me that would right her! Benedick. Is there any way to show such friendship? Beatrice. A very even° way,
of Venice, Richard II, Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, and Twelfth Night. ————. William Shakespeare: Writing for Performance (1996). A discussion aimed at helping readers to develop theatrically conscious habits of reading. Chambers, E. K. The Elizabethan Stage, 4 vols. (1945). A major reference work on theaters, theatrical companies, and staging at court. Cook, Ann Jennalie. The Privileged Playgoers of Shakespeare’s London, 1576-1642 (1981). Sees Shakespeare’s audience as wealthier, more