Usage Of The Characters Of Much Ado About Nothing To Create Comedy

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The play Much Ado About Nothing was written by Shakespeare. This play was written in 1598, and is studied by many international schools today. This is a play involves classic comedy and is about two people, Benedick and Beatrice, who hate each other. This play focuses on the comedy hate between these two people, and we all laugh at their actions. For example, when Benedick comes back from war and arrives in Messina, where this play is set, then Benedick and Beatrice start fighting and everyone starts laughing at the insults that they use. This build up of tension between Benedick and Beatrice is very amusing to the reader.

Schadenfreude, or the act of laughing at another’s misfortune, is written into the play by Shakespeare. When Shakespeare writes about Act Four, Scene Two, where Dogberry and Verges are interrogating Borachio and Conrad, Conrad calls at Dogberry’s back and calls him an ass. “Away! You are an ass! You are an ass!”, Conrad says. This is amusing to the reader as the act of calling someone an ass is hilarious. This act of bravery by Conrad is shocking, because he is chained to a wall, and he dared to speak out, in the fear that Dogberry might act violently against him. But, Dogberry has no violent reaction and instead replies calmly, which I don’t think is what Conrad has expected.

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Another example of comedy that Shakespeare has written is a slapstick. In this play, Dogberry and Verges are the slapsticks because first of all, they ride around on invisible horses. This alone is enough to make most people laugh, for this is not something any normal person would do. This is not all, because it takes them so long to speak up about it not being Hero, after interrogating Borachio and Conrad. Even though they knew about it from quite early on, they don’t speak out until later in the play. It was instead Margret who Borachio had made out with, not Hero, meaning that she wasn’t in her bedroom with Borachio, alone. They also have a very funny situation in the play, when Conrad calls Dogberry an ass, as written in the previous paragraph, Dogberry turns to his comrades, and quotes, very camly, somehow, “But masters, remember that I am an ass, though it be not written down, yet forget not that I am an ass.” This is the best quote in the play, in my opinion because Dogberry admits to himself, and his companions, that he is an ass. This already adds to the amount of humour used by Shakespeare to describe Dogberry, because they already ride around on horses that are invisible, and admitting to people that he is an ass is excellent in terms of comedy. This would be enough comedy to make people laugh a lot.

Another type of humour used by Shakespeare in the play Much Ado About Nothing is pranking, also known as deception and dramatic irony. This happens during Act Three, Scene Two, when Don John, the disloyal younger brother of Don Pedro, tells Claudio that Hero is disloyal, even though she isn’t, because Don John sets this up, with Margret not knowing a thing, and Borachio being hinted in on the plan, and therefore faking the event. “I came hither to tell you; and, circumstances shortened, for she has been to long-a-talking of, the lady is disloyal.” This is a serious prank on Claudio, as he doesn’t know a thing, Don John is lying, and Borachio won’t tell anyone because he is loyal to Don John. This is where the audience know what has happened, yet the characters in the play do not. This gives them a backstory as to why Claudio is angry at the wedding of him and Hero.

The absurdity that Shakespeare uses in the play is so stupid, it is ridiculous. An example of absurdity is in Act 4, Scene 2, where Dogberry insults Conrad and says he doesn’t like the look of his face. Not only is this an insult, this is also like bullying Conrad, because in this scene, he is chained up in Messina’s prison. This is something that someone wouldn’t usually say, but Dogberry was aggravated. “Pray thee, fellow, peace. I do not like thy look, I promise thee.” This is basically Dogberry saying that he doesn’t like Conrad’s face. It also means for him to shut up.

In conclusion, there are many ways Shakespeare uses the characters of the play Much Ado About Nothing to create comedy, such as Schadenfreude, Slapstick/Farce, Pranks, and absurdity. I feel like Schadenfreude is the best type of comedy that Shakespeare has used, because there are lots of times the audience would laugh at someone in the play because of their misfortune. Another example of this occurring in the play would be when Claudio and Hero are about to get married, and Claudio declares Hero unworthy. In the film version of this play, Claudio knocks over everything and all we, as the reader or watcher is laugh or maybe feel sorry for Hero. Even though this section of the play might be considered sad, it is also hilarious because when Leonato finds out at the wedding, he starts dragging Hero across the grass by her hair. There are two sides to this scene, because it is comical, yet saddening. I think that this is saddening, for the reason that Leonato will abandon Hero and claim to all Messina that she is not his daughter. But, this is also very funny because it is very pathetic in terms of fighting.   


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