English IV-3


4 November 1996



William Shakespeare, the most famous of all English writers, has written many

works. One such work is Much Ado About Nothing, a comedy that includes humor, love,

and deceit. Several incidents in the life of the author influenced him to write this play in

the fashion that he did. These events come from his life and the point in history in which

he lived, thus producing Much Ado About nothing.

Shakespeare's life has very much to do with the style of his writing as his stories

are from his past experiences. Shakespeare had a life that involved both the good and bad

aspects of love. He was married for a short while, however, the marriage was suspected

to be an unhappy one because he spent much of his later life away from his family.

Shakespeare's misfortune in love is shown in Much Ado About Nothing when it is said,

"Speak low if you speak love." (Shakespeare). Contrary to this, the positive side of love

is apparent:

"Friendship is constant in all other things

Save in the office and affairs of love:

Therefore all hearts in love use their own tongues;

Let every eye negotiate itself

And trust no agent." (Shakespeare)

So let it be known, Shakespeare obviously learned a great deal about love throughout the



course of his life. He learned not only the good, but also the bad, and in this, love plays a

major role in Much Ado About Nothing (Wright 10-13).

Another element used in Much Ado About Nothing is deceit. This deceit involves

a conflict between two brothers in which one wants to keep the other unhappy and unwed.

This conflict is present as it is said, "There's a skirmish of wit between them."

(Shakespeare). Shakespeare, in his life, had some deceitful things forced upon him where

he was cheated out of something. He was forced out of school at an early age of fifteen to

help his father financially. Furthermore, he was forced into marrying a women that was

eight years older than himself because she was three months pregnant. In result of his

unsuccessful marriage, it is reason enough for him involving love and deceit as one in this

play. So Shakespeare also understands deceit as he incorporated it into Much Ado About

Nothing ("Shakespeare, William").

Contrary to love and deceit, Shakespeare uses comedy as the third and final

element of the play. Comedy is what gives Much Ado About Nothing it's cheerful

happiness and wit that gives this play it's recognition. Shakespeare had many happy

experiences in his life due to his great success in being a playwright. His success started

with him becoming the top writer of The Chamberlain's Men, which would later be

renamed The King's Men. This led to his great career of writing which brought him fame

and fortune, causing him to live and die a happy man (Wright 10-13). The happiness and

clever wit is described like, "Merry as the day is long." (Shakespeare). All throughout this

play, there is constantly a tone of Comedy although interrupted by scenes of deceitful hate.

This is very similar to the life of William Shakespeare, and it clearly the reason that he

writes in the style he does. All in all, Shakespeare's ability as a Comedic writer is very


well spoken for and is the reason that he wrote this play.

The elements used in this play as they have happened in Shakespeare's life are

established in the relationships of the characters of the play. Benedict and Beatrice,

throughout the entire beginning of the play, display love, deceit, and comedy. Beatrice

finds all men to be repulsive, not in the physical sense, but in the psychological sense.

Benedict does not like her attitude and does everything he can to spite her. Through all

this, they both love each other, but both are as stubborn and hard headed as each other

so it is impossible for either one to know this. At a costume party, Benedict tricks

Beatrice into thinking he is someone else by wearing a costume and disguising his voice by

talking with a different accent. Beatrice, not being aware of this, talks badly about

Benedict to whom she thinks is a stranger. Afterwards, Benedict is furious about her

statements and complains to the prince, so everyone else conspires to get them together.

They do this