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How far does the humour in Much Ado About Nothing derive from Shakespeare’s presentation of gender? Much ado about nothing is one of the most famous comedies written by Shakespeare. It is written in the modern style, and is mainly in prose form. It was written for the audience in the Elizabethan era of England, which was the age when females were considered significantly inferior to their male counterparts. Shakespeare has used this concept of gender for creating humour in his play. The characters Benedict and Beatrice are involved in a complex relationship which contrasts between love and hate. Both Beatrice and Benedict are strong willed, intelligent characters, who fear that falling in love will lead to a loss of freedom and eventually heartbreak. Various theories have been proposed which govern humour and comedy. The superiority theory proposed by Plato describes the darker side of comedy that Is often laughed at over unfortunate situations and social standings. Infirmity in others as compared to our own is often laughed at. These same principles has been applied to the story of the play, and the inferiority of females has been used as the basis for creating humour. [quick quote & example to back this up?] The characters Shakespeare's “Much Ado about Nothing” contribute to build the humorous essence of play through their roles. Several characters of the play presented comical language and gestures such as Benedick and Beatrice’s unromantic backbiting. In addition, the high-mannered Elizabethan society in which the characters of the play lived in also played a part to make the play a comedy. Beatrice wants to remain an unmarried women which is going against the social norms at that time. Beatrice also speaks up when Hero is accused of violating chastity. She also rebels against the unequal status of women in the Renaissance society; “O...

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