Villainy & Song in Much Ado about Nothing

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      Shakespeare has created much better villains in plays other than Much Ado about Nothing. For example, the character Iago in Othello is probably the best villain Shakespeare ever created.

      Neither Beatrice nor Benedick were able to write the courtly poetry popular in Elizabethan England. Look for examples of courtly love poetry, either in Shakespeare's plays or from some other writer and write two poems: one declaring your love for Beatrice; the other your love for Benedick, as if they had written them to one another. Keep in mind the kind of relationship that Benedick and Beatrice shared in this play.


      Some critics claim that the song sung in act 2, scene 3 in Much Ado about Nothing is one of Shakespeare's most beautiful. The title of the song is "Sigh No More, Ladies, Sigh No More," and its words tell of the inconstancy of men. The song is written in rhyming verse, not an ac bd eg fh pattern, meaning that alternating lines rhyme. There are two verses, and the last two lines of the first stanza are repeated in the last two lines of the second stanza. Each line is written in what is termed heptameter, or seven beats to a line, with each line containing an end rhyme. Each stanza contains eight lines, which means that each stanza is called an octave. The song is rather lighthearted, especially in its refrain of "Into Hey, nonny nonny," which suggests that women should make light of their sighs and not get lost in the gloom of their emotions, which are aroused by men being difficult, and which cause women pain.

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