Siteseen Logo

Much Ado About Nothing

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare

Summary of the plot or story
The story of two very different sets of lovers, Beatrice and Benedick and Claudio and Hero. The witty banter between Beatrice and Benedick is the highlight of the play.

The main plot of Much Ado revolves around obstacles to the union of two young lovers (Claudio and Hero), the plays sub-plot, the "merry war" of the sexes between Beatrice and Benedick. Benedict thinks he hates Beatrice but really loves her and Beatrice who thinks she hates Benedick but really loves him!

Information provided about the Much Ado About Nothing play
William Shakespeare never published any of his plays and therefore none of the original manuscripts have survived. Eighteen unauthorised versions of his plays were, however, published during his lifetime in quarto editions by unscrupulous publishers (there were no copyright laws protecting Shakespeare and his works during the Elizabethan era). A collection of his works did not appear until 1623 (a full seven years after Shakespeare's death on April 23, 1616) when two of his fellow actors, John Hemminges and Henry Condell, posthumously recorded his work and published 36 of Williamís plays in the First Folio. Some dates are therefore approximate other dates are substantiated by historical events, records of performances and the dates plays appeared in print.

Date first performed
It is believed that Much Ado About Nothing was first performed between 1598 and 1599. In the Elizabethan era there was a huge demand for new entertainment and Much Ado About Nothing would have been produced immediately following the completion of the play.

Date first printed
It is believed that the script was first printed in 1600. As William Shakespeare clearly did not want his work published details of the play would have therefore been noted, and often pirated without his consent, following a performance.

The setting for Much Ado About Nothing
The setting for the play is the City of Messina in Sicily

Theme of Much Ado About Nothing
The play is categorised as a Comedy

Number of words in Much Ado About Nothing
The number of words in the script, according to the Complete Public Domain Text is 22,608 

Most important characters in Much Ado About Nothing
The most important characters in the drama are:
Benedick, Beatrice, Hero and Claudio

Famous Quote / Quotation
Details of this famous quote follows, complete with information regarding the Act and the Scene, allowing a quick reference to the section of the play that this quotation can be found in. Please click here for the full text of the script of the play.

"Everyone can master a grief but he that has it". - (Act III, Scene II).

William Shakespeare's Main Source
Shakespeare found the story in Orlando Furioso, a great epic poem, by Ludovico Ariosto (1474-1535)

The Cast and Characters
Click the link to access a list of all the cast and characters.

Full text - script of the play Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare
Cast and characters in Much Ado About Nothing play by William Shakespeare
Index of plays by William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare Site Map
Page Back
William Shakespeare Index

Privacy Statement

Cookie Policy

© 2017 Siteseen Ltd