Much Ado About Nothing: the wrap-up

Ah, Much Ado About Nothing winds down and comes to a close.

So here we are at the end of our two-month journey. And what have we learned on this trip?

That sometimes nothing is nothing. Sometimes nothing is nooky. Sometimes nothing is noting. That it’s important to listen, but not to overhear (unless you’re a cop). Oh, and don’t call the lead cop an ass.

And what do we think?

Well, I don’t know about you, but I like this play. Love it, really. Love Beatrice and Benedick. Love the gulling. Really like the badass old men Leonato and Antonio.

Hate Claudio, and don’t really care about Don John the bastard. Not “care for,” but “care about.” And that’s not a good thing when you’re talking about the villain. Of course, he’s a weak villain, so that the plot to spoil Hero and Claudio’s wedding can be spoiled itself, and by a knucklehead constable. Onstage, that Dogberry can be annoying and stupid. On the page, though, he’s just funny.

So while there are a bunch of plays I like on the stage better than Much Ado, as a reading experience, I just love it. It has become my second favorite comedy over the last two months, pushing back both The Comedy of Errors and The Taming of the Shrew. Overall, it’s about my sixth favorite play, in the top third of the 20 I’ve read thus far in the project. It probably won’t be when it’s all said and done (since my memories of Macbeth, Lear, Twelfth Night and The Tempest make me think those may leapfrog my merry warriors of Beatrice and Benedick).

So on this Halloween, let’s put this play to bed, throw on a toga, and go out trick-or-treating as (great) Caesar’s Ghost!

(see that I did there? next week, we start Julius Caesar)

Comment?