Synopses & Reviews
Much Ado About Nothing boasts one of Shakespeare's most delightful heroines, most dancing wordplay, and the endearing spectacle of intellectual and social self-importance bested by the desire to love and be loved in return. It offers both the dancing wit of the "merry war" between the sexes, and a sobering vision of the costs of that combat for both men and women. Shakespeare dramatizes a social world in all of its vibrant particulars, in which characters are shaped by the relations between social convention and individual choice. This edition of the play offers in its introduction and commentary an extensive discussion of the materials that informed Shakespeare's compositional choices, both those conventional sources and other contexts, from cuckold jokes to conduct books, which inform the ideas and identities of this play. Particular attention is devoted to Renaissance understandings of gender identity and social rank, as well as to the social valences of Shakespeare's stylistic choices. A treatment of staging possibilities offers illustrations drawn from the earliest and recent theatrical practices, and a critical history examines the fate of the play in the changing trends of academic scholarship. "The text is superb... the critical introduction is predictably smart and engaging, exactly the sort of essay one would recommend to students." Eric Rasmussen, Shakespeare Survey
The Arden Shakespeare has long been acclaimed as the established scholarly edition of Shakespeare's work. Now being totally re-edited for the third time, Arden editions offer the very best in contemporary scholarship. Each volume provides a clear and authoritative text, edited to the highest standards; detailed textual notes and commentary on the same page of the text; full contextual, illustrated introduction, including an in-depth survey of critical and performance approach to the play; and selected bibliography.
The Arden Shakespeare is the established edition of Shakespeare's work. Justly celebrated for its authoritative scholarship and invaluable commentary, Arden guides you a richer understanding and appreciation of Shakespeare's plays. This edition of Much Ado About Nothing provides, a clear and authoritative text, detailed notes and commentary on the same page as the text, a full introduction discussing the critical and historical background to the play and appendices presenting sources and relevant extracts.
Table of Contents
List of illustrations General Editors preface Preface