Prose Pattern Writing in Much Ado about Nothing

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      Many of Shakespeare's plays are written in blank verse, a type of poetry that is characterized by measured lines of five pairs of unstressed and stressed syllables with no end rhymes. However, Much Ado about Nothing is written mostly in prose, which means there is no ordered form but rather normal conversational patterns. Often, Shakespeare uses blank verse to elevate a character's lines, such as a military leader, like King Henry V, talking to his troops before a war; or Marc Antony delivering a speech upon the death of Julius Caesar. Much Ado about Nothing has no grand speeches such as those. Most of the dialogue is among peers, in the form of couples or very small groups. The atmosphere is relaxed and, for the most part, very lighthearted. There are exceptions though. When Shakespeare writes in prose for the majority of the lines then switches to verse, it is done to call attention to whatever is being said. An example occurs in act 1, scene 1, when Claudio talks about his feelings for Hero. This is an important part of the play. Claudio's speech touches on the main theme of the play, which is love and the relationship between a man and a woman. Claudio's lines, as well as those of Don Pedro's, are written in verse. The verse is set off from the regular prose dialogue in several ways. First, the right hand of the text does not reach the full right-hand margin. This is because each line contains only ten syllables. Second, each line starts with a capital letter even when that word does not begin a new sentence. If the verse is read out loud, the meter or beat of the line becomes noticeable, with each line's beat matching the others. From line 284 in act 1, scene 1, to line 323, Don Pedro and Claudio speak in verse, as if their combined Conversation were one poem.

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