Tag Archives: Much Ado About Nothing
David Tennant as Berowne

The Plays We Overlook: Love’s Labour’s Lost

The Plays We Overlook: Love’s Labour’s Lost By James Cappio Why isn’t Love’s Labour’s Lost more popular? Perhaps this “feast of language” is a surfeit for some. Where A Midsummer Night’s Dream has but two romantic couples, Love’s Labour’s Lost has four, plus a love triangle. Where Much Ado About Nothing has but Dogberry and […]

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Gyula Shakespeare Festival, Hungary

Shakespeare in Gyula

While my colleagues of the Shakespeare on the Road venture are hurtling round a series of Shakespeare festivals in the New World – I hope to join them on the Canadian leg of their journey – I had the pleasure of attending a festival in the historic and delightful town of Gyula, in Southern Hungary. […]

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Lester Othello

Keeping up with Shakespeare

When I started blogging on Shakespeare Calling a couple of years ago I had some kind of vague ambition – alongside of reading the plays and writing short responses to them – of seeing all the movies based on the plays, going to the theater to see the productions, reading the books about the plays… […]

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Much Ado

“He cannot by the duello avoid it!”

Most of Shakespeare’s aristocratic patrons would be intimately familiar with the arts of swordplay. Furthermore, Shakespeare as a trained actor would have studied fighting accurately to replicate it onstage. This is why Shakespeare takes many opportunities to mention duelling culture in his plays, especially within the comedies.  Shakespeare uses duel references to comic effect in […]

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NHytner in rehearsal credit Ivan Kyncl-1

Sir Nick Hytner on Shakespeare

It all started about eighteen months ago. The University of Notre Dame in London wanted very much to feel it was doing all it could to honour Stanley Wells  C.B.E. as the pre-eminent Shakespeare scholar. So, Notre Dame’s London director, Greg Kucich, and Shakespeare scholar Boika Sokolva invited The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and The Shakespeare […]

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‘How to Know if Someone Is in Love’: An Examination of Elizabethan Courtship in Much Ado About Nothing.

Like any other animal, human beings adopt a series of behaviours to show interest in mating in an appropriate way.  In the Elizabethan era, courtly love meant that a man strove to obtain his lady both through force of arms and through his skill in poetry. Benedick and Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing despise […]

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Can I hear something....?

How did they (stage eavesdropping) in Much Ado About Nothing

Many of Shakespeare’s plays contain scenes where characters listen in on one another. Hamlet (where Polonius gets killed doing it) The Tempest (where Prospero checks up on his daughter doing it) and Love’s Labour’s Lost (where four characters do it to each other all at once)! As we see from this list this gag can […]

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'A Vision of Cleopatra' by Lawrence Alma-Tadema

Sonnets for Advent 15: Sonnet 57

Somehow it’s easy to imagine this sonnet being spoken by Kate in The Taming of the Shrew or by Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing; its tone is playfully sarcastic. Moreover, Sonnet 57 is overridingly dramatic (rather than lyrical) which makes it richly suggestive of a character and situation from one of the plays. But […]

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Sir Kenneth Branagh at the Olympics Opening Ceremony

O Kenneth Where Art Thou?

Dear Kenneth Branagh, Do you know how it is to see a movie that hits you like a ton of bricks and changes your life? Well, of course you do. Your Henry V did that to me. The first time I saw it I was only as vaguely aware of Shakespeare as most people are […]

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