In Praise of Beatrice–Much Ado About Nothing

Star dance

We have just finished reading Much Ado About Nothing in my Introduction to Shakespeare class.

It’s been a few years since I’d read it, and while I hadn’t forgotten how much fun it is, I am surprised by how contemporary it seems today.  With themes of gender wars, slander, bullying, deception, shame and honor, the plays characters could make headlines in the digital world of social media today: “Girl Commits Suicide Following Gossip and Bullying.”

And once again, I joined poor Benedick as he falls for the bold and biting Beatrice who makes his life a misery from Act 1:

“It is so, indeed; he is no less than a stuffed man:
but for the stuffing,—well, we are all mortal . . . 

Is it possible disdain should die while she hath
such meet food to feed it as Signior Benedick? . . . “

All women would be wise to approach marriage with her full wit and defiance;

all women would be wise to value themselves the way she does.

Much ado

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