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Finding Theme in Much Ado About Nothing


Finding Theme in Much Ado About Nothing Identify a theme: When identifying theme, please use this sentence frame: In William Shakespeare s Much Ado About Nothing ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Finding Theme in Much Ado About Nothing

Finding Theme in Much Ado About Nothing
Identify a theme
  • When identifying theme, please use this sentence
  • In William Shakespeares Much Ado About Nothing,
    one theme is __________________________________.
  • Sample
  • In William Shakespeares Much Ado About Nothing,
    one theme is the power of language to
    simultaneously veil and reveal the truth.

Provide Textual Evidence
  • In the opening scene of the play, after hearing
    word that the troop of soldiers will be
    returning, Beatrice jokingly asks the messenger,
    I pray you, is Signior Mountanto returnd from
    the wars or no? (1.1). This line is significant
    in that we see, for the first time, the way in
    which Beatrice speaks of Benedick in a veiled
    way. She refers to him by a name that is not his
    own, and speaks of him in a tone of disregard.
    Yet, while she is speaking unkindly of him, it is
    noteworthy that her first spoken line in the play
    is a reference demonstrating concern for her
    enemy. This is the first example of how
    language can simultaneously hide and reveal the
  • Format
  • Introduce textual evidence, explain where in the
    play it comes, briefly set the scene
  • Integrate the textual evidence smoothly into your
    own sentence.
  • Cite the act and the scene number
  • Explain how this quote demonstrates/proves your
  • Find two pieces of textual evidence to prove your

  • After all soldiers and members of Leonatos
    household go in to dine, Benedick and Claudio
    remain behind to talk. Benedick gives his opinion
    of Hero (I do not like her 1.1), and then
    makes a reference to Beatrice. He tells Claudio
    that if she were not possessed with a fury,
    exceeds Hero as much in beauty as the first of
    May doth the last of December (1.1). Claudio had
    never mentioned Beatrice in the conversation, it
    is Benedick who brings up her name. While
    referring to her bad temper, he also states if it
    werent for that, she would be much more
    beautiful than Hero. As with Beatrice referencing
    him, Benedick brings mention of her into a
    conversation where she previously had no place.
    Yet, as Beatrice did, he brings up her name to
    speak negatively of her, but then he compliments
    her. Benedick tries to veil the truth of his
    attraction to her through an insult, yet the very
    fact that he speaks of her reveals the very thing
    he tries to hide.

Connect the theme to the world outside the text
  • Language is one of the most powerful tools
    humans have. Language is the best way to
    communicate to others how we feel, what we think,
    what we wantLanguage reveals our truths when we
    speak clearly, but even when we try to deceive,
    the way in which we speak can betray us. The
    topics that we introduce in conversation reveal
    what we want to talk aboutand what we want to
    talk about is what we care about. This is
    particularly true when we talk of people. To
    hear a high school senior with careful
    nonchalance ask a question about the new girl in
    school is to know that he is interested in her.
  • In Much Ado About Nothing, is it through
    Beatrice and Benedicks language that we learn
    how they really feel about each other. Many times
    for these two characters, it is not just what
    they say but how they say it that reveals who
    they are. This tendency of language in
    Shakespeares play to simultaneously work to
    conceal and reveal truth is something common to
    us all.