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Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing

Much Ado About Nothing is a comedy about eavesdropping and gossip and the personal and social damage it causes. The word “nothing” is a play on words. In Elizabethan times it referred to eavesdropping, hence, Much Ado About Eavesdropping. The complexity of the conflict comes about through eavesdropping and is resolved through eavesdropping. All drama is founded in conflict: ideas, wills, personalities. This comedy is social in nature: the will of the individual verses the norms of society. Will the individual tear society apart, or will society become so overbearing as to destroy the individual. Comedy teaches that we can have it all; there is compromise. The symbol of this compromise is a happy marriage. Marriage suggests society gets submission to the social order and the individual gets their beloved, produces children and the social order continues. Everyone wins. At the heart of this play is the critical issue of manliness. The virtue of a good woman can compel men to take their proper role to defend women, family, society. Good, virtuous women civilize men. It is her true power in the world; it is at the heart of civilization. And the perfect model for the virtuous woman is Our Lady.

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