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'Much Ado About Nothing' - Study Guide

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'Much Ado About Nothing' - Study Guide

Much Ado About Nothing: Title Page from the First Quarto

Photo © British Library

About the Play

Much Ado About Nothing is one of Shakespeare’s most memorable romantic comedies. First published in 1600, but probably written in 1598, the play enjoyed as much popularity then as it does today.

Much Ado mixes comedy with tragedy, making it a problematic play to categorize. Its treatment of love is not typical of Shakespeare’s other romantic comedies, but its plot structure stops it from being a tragedy. Some critics class it as a comedy of manners, because it pokes fun at aristocratic behaviour and language.

Character Profiles

The play revolves around pairs of characters - two sets of lovers and two sets of brothers.

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