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Much Ado About Nothing: Q & A

When was Much Ado About Nothing written?

It is generally assumed that Much Ado About Nothing was composed in either 1598 or 1599. Some believe that because Francis Meres, in his work Palladis Tamia, did not list it among Shakespeare's comedies published in the summer of 1598, the play was not finished by that time. But others believe that such an omission is not evidence enough to support that it was written after Meres' listings.

In 1600 the play was registered with the English guild of publishers known as the Stationers' Company, and was printed later that year in the only early quarto version. Using the quarto copy as the source, the play was printed again in the First Folio (1623).

Was Much Ado About Nothing popular in Shakespeare's day?

Much Ado About Nothing was very popular in Shakespeare's day, and the title page of the 1600 quarto tells us that "the play hath been sundrie times publikely acted by the right honorable, the Lord Chamberlain his seruants."

What is a headborough?

A headborough is a parish officer (an officer for the church) having the same functions as a petty police constable.

What is an example of true human nature being portrayed in Much Ado About Nothing?

The conflict between Beatrice and Benedick is a psychological masterpiece and a brilliant illustration of human nature. Although it is sometimes seen as a sub-plot, the feud between these two characters is the highlight of the play. The wonderfully real development of their relationship, through their witty and honest banter, is the true revelation of human nature in the play. To see specific examples of this, just read over the play and find those passages where Beatrice and Benedick fight with each other and discuss one another with other characters in the play.

How to cite this article:

Mabillard, Amanda. Much Ado About Nothing: Q & A Shakespeare Online. 20 Aug. 2000. (date when you accessed the information) < >.


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