Much Ado About Nothing: By the Numbers

Much Ado About Nothing

So here’s the numerical breakdown…

  • 2633 total lines; shorter than the average play (2768), longer than the average comedy (2425)
  • No scenes are the shortest of their kind in the Canon
  • No scenes are the longest of its kind in the Canon
  • Act One: 403 lines; slightly shorter than average (average play: 582, average comedy: 488)
  • Act Two: 667 lines; longer than average play (average play: 567, average comedy 495)
  • Act Three: 569 lines; about average (576), but longer than the average comedy (511); has the most scenes of any comedy (5; tied with Merry Wives)
  • Act Four: 417 lines; MUCH shorter than average (average play: 560, average comedy: 460)
  • Act Five: 577 lines; the longest of all comedies; longer than average (average play: 484, average comedy: 471)
  • 2048 lines of prose (77.78% of total lines, which is much more than average [play:26.32%; comedy: 46.71%]; only Merry Wives has more at 88% [compare with The Comedy of Errors: 13.31%, Titus Andronicus: 1.39%, The Taming of the Shrew: 20.82%, 1HenryVI: 0.37%, 2HenryVI: 16.64%, 3HenryVI: 0.14%, Richard III: 2.89%, Love’s Labor’s Lost: 35.08%, The Two Gentlemen of Verona: 26.81%, A Midsummer Night’s Dream: 19.75%, Romeo and Juliet: 14.18%, King John: 0.0%, The Merchant of Venice: 21.79%, Richard II: 0%, 1HenryIV: 44.7%, 2HenryIV: 50.36%, HenryV: 40.89%, Merry Wives: 88.20%, and As You Like It: 56.12%])
  • 64 rhyming lines (2.43% of total lines; the smallest ratio of all the comedies, though Merry Wives and Taming are close at 3.73% and 3.93%, respectively, while 4 tragedies and 3 histories are smaller [as opposed to Comedy: 20.10%, Titus: 2.42%, Taming: 3.93%, 1HenryVI: 9.79%, 2HenryVI: 3.16%, 3HenryVI: 5.37%, Richard III: 7.55%, LLL: 40.86%, 2Gents: 35.08%, Midsummer: 43.5%, Romeo: 16.61%, King John: 6.19%, Merchant: 5.16%, Richard II: 18.95%, 1HenryIV: 1.04%, 2HenryIV: 2.32%, HenryV: 1.80%, Merry Wives: 3.79%, and As You Like It: 10.87%])
  • 17 scenes; less than average (21), about average for a comedy (16)
  • 23 characters; less than average (36), about average for a comedy (22)

Beginning with Much Ado, we’ll be releasing the “by the numbers” breakdown as an infographic!

Much Ado About Nothing: By the Numbers (jpeg; thumbnail)

[download the pdf (594 kB)]

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