Swamped with your writing assignments? Take the weight off your shoulder!
In the article â€œDeception and Dramatic Irony in Much Ado About Nothing, Andrea Varney writes:
At the heart of [the] garden scenes [with Beatrice and Benedick] is a trivial exchange which subtly highlights the difficulty of reading outward signs. Preparing to play his song, Balthasar juggles with the word â€˜noteâ€™: â€˜Thereâ€™s not a note of mine thatâ€™s worth the noting,â€™ and Don Pedro takes up the word-play, â€˜Notes, notes, forsooth, and nothingâ€™ (2.3.54â€“57).
By echoing the playâ€™s title, Much Ado About Nothing, Shakespeare makes us sit up and take notice, revealing the double meaning at the heart of the play. On the one hand, the title suggests that the plot is a fuss about nothing â€“ a series of deceptions which turn out to be untrue. Yet â€˜nothingâ€™ in Shakespeareâ€™s England could also be used bawdily for a womanâ€™s lack of a penis, and the play involves much â€˜adoâ€™ about women and sex. Most importantly, â€˜nothingâ€™ at this time was pronounced the same as â€˜notingâ€™ â€“ meaning paying attention or taking note.
These puns emphasise the need for us, in our role as observers, to â€˜noteâ€™ things carefully, interpreting what we see, not trusting first impressions. But because â€˜notingâ€™ and â€˜nothingâ€™ are so similar, they also unsettle our faith in being able to tell whatâ€™s meaningful and whatâ€™s nonsense. Balthasarâ€™s song reminds us that â€˜Men were deceivers everâ€™ (2.3.63). Words and appearances, in the theatre and the real world, are open to manipulation.
During our viewing last week, I asked you to “‘note’ things carefully” because you will have to both notice what is going on in the play but to ask yourself “what’s meaningful and what’s nonsense.” For your writing this week, make a list of as many incidents as you can where people are being deceived or manipulated. You can number your list, but include a few sentence for each incident to explain what you are “noting.”
The artical ( https://www.bl.uk/shakespeare/articles/deception-and-dramatic-irony-in-much-ado-about-nothing )