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Much Ado About Nothing (No Fear Shakespeare) Paperback – January 22, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-1411401013 ISBN-10: 1411401018 Edition: Trade Paperback Edition
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: SparkNotes; Trade Paperback Edition edition (January 22, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1411401018
  • ISBN-13: 978-1411401013
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.2 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,301 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By be happy on April 28, 2006
Format: Paperback
I study Shakespeare in my high school English class, and used to have a hard time understanding it. Then I got No Fear Shakespeare and now love the work of Shakespeare! Some of the words in the original text you would never think that they mean something different or unexpected in the modern text. It also explains some of the puns and humor. GREAT!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sam Sattler on July 8, 2013
Format: Paperback
The Much Ado About Nothing volume of the series is my first experience with the No Fear Shakespeare books. For those unfamiliar with the concept, the "No Fear" books are aimed at students and readers who sometimes find reading Shakespeare to be a bit of a challenge. In my own case, after reading one of Shakespeare's plays, no matter how well I felt I understood it, I still wondered what I had missed. These little books make sure that I do not miss a thing.

The concept is a simple one. The play is presented in Shakespeare's words on the book's odd-numbered pages, and the even-numbered pages present the same material "translated" into everyday English. I chose to read Shakespeare's words first, and then read the translated version of the same section of the play before I moved on to the next odd-numbered page. Within just a few pages, I found myself falling into Shakespeare's rhythms and I needed the modern version less and less to understand the various comings and goings of all the characters.

But even at that point, the No Fear Shakespeare book remains a useful tool to readers because it explains all the relatively obscure references that Shakespeare makes throughout his work to Greek and Roman mythology. These little asides, almost throwaway references though they may seem, often add depth to characters that otherwise likely would have gone right over the heads of most readers. Too, the book explains the slang terms used in the many risqué conversational back-and-forth jabs between characters that may have remained meaningless to those unfamiliar with the language of the day (language that would likely earn Much Ado About Nothing at least a PG rating if it were a modern movie).
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Format: Paperback
Much Ado About Nothing is not among one of Shakespeare's most significant works but is still a play filled with romantic drama and hilarious puns. The men had just returned from war, and a soldier named Claudio decides to marry the fair maiden Hero. As soon as things seem to be going well, lies and deception roam about like a virulent disease. The main antagonists, Don John and Borachio, devise a plan to ruin their wedding. Another part of the play revolves around two characters, Benedick and Beatrice, who are both very witty and subject to each other's mockery.
With the No Fear Shakespeare version of the text, understanding old English suddenly became much easier. On one side of the page is the original text while the other side is a modern translation of it. The modern text sometimes gives a completely different translation than what I interpreted. This can be extremely helpful especially when you are unsure about the meaning of a line. I noticed that with the modern translation, I understood the plot a lot better. Reading the original text and confirming its meaning with the modern text ensured my understanding of the play. Along with the translation, there are also plenty of useful commentaries.
I personally enjoyed the play because it was neither too short nor lengthy. The comedic and the most enjoyable aspects came from the little disputes between Beatrice and Benedick. They are constantly hurling insults at each other in order to mask their love, which is the underlying theme in this play. Shakespeare shows how love can make a person go crazy. I especially found the constable Dogberry to be absolutely hilarious with his use of malapropism. The climax is quickly resolved, and some would say that the play had a typical ending. However, that is what kept the story short and simple. Much Ado About Nothing is among many of Shakespeare's great works. No matter how many times you read it, it still remains a hilarious timeless masterpiece.
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Format: Paperback
No Fear Shakespeare: Much Ado About Nothing is a timeless comedy filled with deceit, love, confusion and most importantly a happy ending. The characters are likeable and comedic, and they each have their own quirks which work out perfectly in the play. The story takes you on an emotional roller coaster. At times you are happy that everything is working out, but later you find yourself wanting to throw the book across the room out of frustration with the situation. Once you start the book, you will not want to put it down. Not only does it include the characteristics of a good story, but has been reworded into modern English making it easy for anyone to understand and enjoy without much deciphering of the Shakespearean language. However, if you decide to challenge yourself, the pages on the left side contain the original script. This way, you can have the benefit of Shakespeare's original words yet at any time avert your eyes to the right side to figure out what the character is saying. The No Fear Shakespeare version of Much Ado About Nothing is ideal for high school students in their English classes, or anyone who wants to be credited with reading Shakespeare but actually understand what is going on.
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