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Word Count: 3,391
Much Ado About Nothing illustrates a kind of deliberately puzzling title that seems to have been popular in the late 1590s ex As You Like It Indeed the play is about nothing It follows the relationship between Claudio and Hero which is constantly hampered by plots to disrupt it and in the end the play culminates in Beatrice and Benedick falling in love which because it was an event that was quite predictable proves to be much ado about nothing The pronunciation of the word nothing would in the late 16th Century have been noting and so the title also apparently suggests a pun on the word noting and on the use of the word note as an expression of music In Act Two scene two Balthasar is encouraged to sing but declines saying note this before my notes theres not a note of mine thats worth the noting 53-54 However Don Pedro retorts Note notes forsooth and nothing playing on Balthasars words and also demanding that he pay attention to his music and nothing else In addition much of the play is dedicated to people noting and overhearing the actions of others such as the trick played on Beatrice and Benedick by Leonato Hero and Claudio They often observe and overhear one another and consequently make a great deal out of very little One of the major themes in Much Ado About Nothing centers around the question and battle between deception and reality One first notices of the image of deception as we witness the masking and unmasking at the masquerade In the play most overheard discussions are deceptions It is through eavesdropping that we see the true battle between deception and reality as we look at the subplots of Benedick and Beatrice Hero and Claudio as well as the comedy of Dogberry and his crew The relationship between Benedick and Beatrice is one manufactured completely through deception on the behalf of
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