Much Ado About Nothing (Kobo eBook)
**This comedic play, written by William Shakespeare in the middle of his career, and first published in 1623, is a true battle of the sexes. It is both a clash of wits between two quarrelsome lovers as well as a a near-deadly conflict built on conventions of gender and male rivalry. It is considered to be one of Shakespeare’s best comedies, combining two quite different stories of romantic love…one with robust humor, the other, the more serious issues of honor, shame and politics.
A a group of soldiers arrive in Messina, and two romantic pairings emerge. The first, is between Claudio and Hero who fall in love at first sight, the second, Claudio's friend Benedick and Hero's cousin Beatrice who are fooled into believing that the other is in love with them. Through gossip, rumor, and overhearing, Benedick and Beatrice are deceived into confessing their love for each other, and Claudio is tricked into rejecting Hero on the alter on the mistaken belief that she has been unfaithful. Hero faints and is believed dead, but recovers to be proved innocent by a chance discovery. Benedick defends his cousin’s honor and wins back Beatrice’s love. The two eventually unite to play cupid and straighten things out, as the others in a celebration of the marriages of the two couples.
A masquerade ball, conversations overheard, unrequited love, a faked death, challenges to a duel, cries of treason, all come together in this masterful work which as stood the test of time and is one of Shakespeare’s most frequently performed comedies.**