Much Ado About Nothing

“The figure of a lamb the feats of a lion”Messenger Act 1, Scene 1:Metaphor – used to describe Claudio in the war – image of a lamb reflects that they expected him to be weak due to his age but he showed a lot of courage and experience
“Is she not a modest young lady?”Claudio Act 1, Scene 1:Claudio is presenting the Elizabethan norms and reflecting the value of ‘modesty’ meaning virginityInterrogative – shows Claudio’s naievity as he is not confident enough to make the decision for himselfNoun phrase – Emphatic of the typical conventions of a woman that would have been seeked for courtship – emphasises youth and virginity
“There is a kind of merry war betwixst Signor Benedick and her”Leonato Act 1, Scene 1:Leonato is describing the relationship between Beatrice and BenedickWar imagery – link to Benedick’s role in the military and military honourAntithesis – the idea of a merry war is interesting – reference to the word playVocative – Benedick referred to by his title whereas Beatrice is referred to using the third person pronoun – suggests that the ‘blame’ lies with Beatrice
B: “Would you buy her, that you enquire after her?”C: “Can the world buy such a jewel?” Act 1, Scene 1:Benedick is questionning Claudio on how much he likes HeroRepetition of verb – emphasises the value that was placed on marriage and reflects how highly Claudio thought of HeroMetaphor – Romantic imagery suggesting that Claudio thinks very highly of HeroInterrogative – reflecting an equal exchange
“Because I will not do them the wrong to mistrust any, I will do myself the right to trust none”Benedick Act 1, Scene 1:Benedick is explaining why he will not get marriedModal verbs – emphasises Benedick taking control of the situation by not getting marriedParallel syntax – reflects the idea of typical conventions compared to the way Benedick is actingContrast – uses contrasting imagery throughout showing the difference between the way he is acting and the way a conventional male of his age would actReference to the male fear of infidelity and cuckolding
“In time the savage bull doth bear the yoke”Don Pedro Act 1, Scene 1:Don Pedro is suggesting that eventually Benedick will be tamed by marriageNoun phrase – the image of the cuckold is interesting as it is suggesting that it is what men are destined to becomeLinks to the idea that all women are descendants of Eve and so have Eve’s sin
“But now that I am returned, and that war-thoughts Have left their places vacant, in their rooms Come thronging soft and delicate desires…”Claudio Act 1, Scene 1:Claudio is looking for love now that he is home from fightingWritten in blank verse – reflects that it is a more passionate and romantic area of the text – also links to the typical convention of courtly love/romantic languageNoun phrase – Powerful imagery – reminding us that before the war, Claudio was purely driven by militaryMetaphor – suggesting that he is not thinking of war now but instead of love and heroPhonology – sibilant/plosive sounds create a soft sounding speech reflecting the gentle nature of Claudio – contrast to war imagery
“I am a plain-dealing villain”Don John Act 1, Scene 3:Don John is describing himselfNoun phrase – powerful in reflecting that Don John acknowledges his nature of being out to sabotage/ruin other people and their plans
L: “Well then, go you into hell?”B: “No, but to the gate, and there will the devil meet me like an old cuckold with horns on his head, and say, ‘Get you to heaven, Beatrice, get you to heaven.’… He shows me where the bachelors sit and there live we as merry as the day is long.” Act 2, Scene 1:Beatrice and Leonato are discussing the belief that unmarried women would go to hellInterrogative – reflects Leonato’s concern for BeatriceNoun phrase – cuckold imagery reflecting that the devil will be happy with her because she has not created a cuckoldSimile – suggesting that she will be happy with the bacelors
“…wooing, wedding and repenting is as a Scotish jig, a measure and a cinquepace.”Beatrice Act 2, Scene 1:Beatrice is using dance imagery to explain marriage to HeroMetaphor – suggesting that wooing is the most exciting part and it gets stricter and worse from there
“She speaks poniards, and every word stabs”Benedick Act 2, Scene 1:Benedick is referring to the fact that Beatrice’s words hurtWar-imagery – suggesting that Benedick has fought in a war and even that didn’t hurt him as muchMetaphor – powerful imagery reflecting Benedick’s painDynamic verb – emphasises Beatrice’s role and lack of remorse in hurting Benedick
“Any bar, any cross, any impediment will be medicinable to me.”Don John Act 2, Scene 2:Don John is saying that he wants to stop Claudio and Hero from being marriedTriadic structure – emphatic of the lengths that Don John will go to to sabotage the marriage – he is looking for anythingMetaphor – as though it will cure him – ironic because Don John seems to infect everybody else in the play
“Bait the hook well. This fish will bite.”Claudio Act 2, Scene 3:Claudio is suggesting that if they feed Benedick enough about Beatrice liking him then he will like her backMetaphor – reflecting that Benedick just needs to see someone take interest in himModals – reflects Claudio’s confidence that Benedick will fall in love with Beatrice
“I will be horribly in love with her”Benedick Act 2, Scene 3:During Benedick’s soliloquyAntithesis (noun phrase) – Almost forced – as if he is trying to resist but can’tModal – emphasises that they are is feelings for her now
“…Leonato’s Hero, your Hero, every man’s Hero”Don John Act 3, Scene 2:When Don John is trying to convince Claudio that Hero has been with other menTriadic structure – emphasises that Hero belongs to more than just himUse of nouns/pronouns – emphasises views on women in the 1590s in that they belonged to a man, e.g. her father/husband
“I stand dishonoured that I have gone about To link my dear friend to a common stale.”Don Pedro Act 4, Scene 1:During the wedding when Claudio tells everyone that Hero has been unfaithfulBlank verse – reflecting the passion that he is speaking withContrast in noun phrases – almost as if he is offended that he thought Hero was a suitor for Claudio – powerful languageDiffering use of possessive determiner/indefinite article
“Kill Claudio”Beatrice Act 4, Scene 1:When Beatrice suggests how Benedick should deal with the situationPowerful verb – suggesting that Beatrice feels deeply about the situationBeatrice may also be trying to test BenedickAlso this would have been seen as comedic
“Thou and I are too wise to woo peaceably”Benedick Act 5, Scene 2:Benedick and Beatrice are having their usual exchange about courtshipUse of informal – reflects intimacy between Beatrice and BenedickIntensifier – suggesting they are too wise for their own good
“And surely as I live, I am a maid.”Hero Act 5, Scene 4:Hero is reitterating that she is a virginFronted coordinating conjunction – emphasises the additional informationUse of verb – certaintyNoun – reflects the importance that Hero has to reitterate it
“Peace, I will stop your mouth.”Benedick Act 5, Scene 4:Benedick kisses BeatriceModal – emphatic of his certainty and desire to kiss her

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