Much Ado About Nothing | Critical Essay by W. H. Auden

This literature criticism consists of approximately 14 pages of analysis & critique of Much Ado About Nothing.
This section contains 3,944 words
(approx. 14 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by W. H. Auden

Critical Essay by W. H. Auden

SOURCE: Auden, W. H. “Much Ado About Nothing.” In W. H. Auden: Lectures on Shakespeare, reconstructed and edited by Arthur Kirsch, pp. 113-23. Princeton N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2000.

In the following reconstructed lecture, originally delivered in 1946, Auden discusses how Shakespeare kept Much Ado about Nothing's tragic subplot—the conspiracy of Don John—from overshadowing the play's comic main plot: the romantic duel of wits between Beatrice and Benedick.

The first thing to notice about Much Ado About Nothing is that the subplot overwhelms and overshadows the main plot. The main plot consists of the story of Hero and Claudio and the conspiracy of Don John. Its sources are Bandello, Ariosto, and a Greek romance. Shakespeare treats the story perfunctorily, and except for Don John, it's boring. And Shakespeare shows some...

(read more)

This section contains 3,944 words
(approx. 14 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by W. H. Auden