Much ado about nothing: a performing edition

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Oberon Books, 2005 - Drama - 107 pages
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Much Ado About Nothing owes its popularity to the 'merry war' between Beatrice and Benedick, the brilliant mockery of love and marriage with which they conceal their mutual attraction. But beneath the play's brilliant surface lies a darker centre. Much Ado is built around two intrigues: Don Pedro's to bring Beatrice and Benedick together, Don John's to destroy the marriage of Hero and Claudio. Both climax in the crisis of the church scene: Hero is denounced at the altar by Claudio, Don Pedro, and even her father; defending her, Beatrice and Benedick are thrown together and confess their love for one another as they deal with the crisis, which is ultimately resolved by the self-regarding constable Dogberry and his watchmen. This performing edition was prepared for the Peter Hall Company production at the Threatre Royal Bath in 2005.

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About the author (2005)

The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., is home to the world's largest collection of Shakespeare's printed works, and a magnet for Shakespeare scholars from around the globe. In addition to exhibitions open to the public throughout the year, the Folger offers a full calendar of performances and programs. For more information, visit

Barbara A. Mowat is Director of Academic Programs at the Folger Shakespeare Library, Editor of Shakespeare Quarterly, Chair of the Folger Institute, and author of The Dramaturgy of Shakespeare's Romances and of essays on Shakespeare's plays and on the editing of the plays.

Paul Werstine is Professor of English at King's College and the Graduate School of the University of Western Ontario, Canada. He is the author of many papers and articles on the printing and editing of Shakespeare's plays and was Associate Editor of the annual Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England from 1980 to 1989.

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