Book Review

Much ado about nothing


A bewildering title drew me to this most hilarious of Shakespeare's works—if not the most hilarious of all time. A pointless plot is chuck-full of humor and entertainment. A silly lie blowing up of proportion and setting off a series of mortifying and disreputable events seems to be a timeless plot though.

Taking you into British society in the 16th and 17th centuries, this play helps you understand norms and morals of the time and generally how society was structured then. Each character with their idiosyncrasies adds a humorous twist to the story. Claudio is naïve, Hero insipid, Beatrice clever and exceptionally funny as is Benedick. The latter two are my favorite characters for the way they are constantly at each other's throats with clever wit and sometimes charm.

While ridiculously funny, this play makes you think about virtuousness, dishonesty, illegitimacy, family support and reputation, lies, and deceit. It is definitely for readers 15 and over. It may take a lot of analyzing to fully understand it, but it is also a great read to develop one's comprehension skills. This edition is part of the no-fear series, so it is a great entry point to Shakespeare for English-learners or anyone hesitant about reading the great English playwright.

By Francine Sedacy
Submitted: June 17, 2014