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Much Ado about Family Feuds Print E-mail
by Bob Wu    Mon, Jul 7, 2014, 11:23 PM

Commentary Series by Bob Wu, Xiamen University School of Journalism student

XIAMEN, CHINA:  Much Ado About Nothing is a comedy by William Shakespeare which is thought to have been written in 1598 and 1599, as Shakespeare was approaching the middle of his career. Much Ado About Nothing is generally considered one of Shakespeare's best comedies, since it combines elements of robust hilarity with more serious meditations on honor, shame, and court politics. Like As You Like It and Twelfth Night, Much Ado About Nothing, though interspersed with darker concerns, is a joyful comedy that ends with multiple marriages and no deaths.

The comedy is about two couples. The names of the four young people are Claudio, Hero, Benedick and Beatrice.

The Chinese translation of the title of the play literally means “to make trouble out of nothing”. It explains the complicated love story of Claudio and Hero, who, being matched for marriage, are nearly split apart by the conspiracy of a villain.

In the play, it is illustrated, through a so-called merry war between Benedick and Beatrice, that the Earth is round, that if two people walk back to each other, at long last they will meet face to face. And after quarreling for so long, it is necessary for them to come together.

The love story in the play shows that the people squabbling may not be enemies, and that the accepted perfect match can somehow be vulnerable. Benedick and Beatrice have quarreled with one another for so long, and both vowed that they would not get married. Yet, they never dreamed that one day they will show the love for each other, and take an oath of marriage.

The god-sent marriage of Claudio and Hero appears specious. His credulity almost ruins a beauty, and his own happiness. Nevertheless, true love needs this trial. By contrast, although the love at first sight in Twelfth Night is seemingly incredible, the lovers in it are candid and faithful. And at long last, they come together step by step, out of a mistake due to the twinborn brother and sister, and enter the place they have dreamed of, the palace of love and marrige.

Shakespeare wrote plays for entertainment, and he considered entertainment to be an industry, since he needed to live on the box office. However, whether it is literature or entertainment, there are in the plays by Shakespear profound questions universally applicable, which have provoked thoughts of the audience, readers and scholars for hundreds of years. Even from the most reasonless comedies can the careful people discover the questions behind the laughter. As in Much Ado About Nothing, towards the climax of the play, the family fake Hero's death in order to extract the truth and Claudio's remorse. From this plot, we may ask why girls have to pay for the loss of virginity the price of life. Is it not the rule of game in patriarchal society to equate virginity with the value of life? We should consider about these questions of the plays after four hundred years.

The villain, Don John, wants to harm Claudio. His intrigue is seen through, and he himself gets arrested at last. It is once again expressed in a comedy the truth that evil can never prevail over good.

Shakespeare wrote in As You Like It, “All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances.” From the point of view of a playwriter, he compared the world to a stage. Actually, it sounds reasonable, since behind the stage of the world, there may be a God as a playwrite, and we all are the characters created and controlled by God.

To read the entire article from Liberty Post, link here: 

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