Much Ado About Nothing
The title page from the first quarto edition of Much Adoe About Nothing, printed in 1600
Written byWilliam Shakespeare
Don John
Don Pedro
Friar Frances
Date premiered1600
Original languageEarly Modern English
SettingMessina, Italy
John Gielgud as Benedick in a 1959 production

Much Ado About Nothing is a comedy by William Shakespeare thought to have been written in 1598 and 1599.[1] The play was included in the First Folio, published in 1623.

The play is set in Messina and revolves around two romantic pairings that emerge when a group of soldiers arrive in the town. The first, between Claudio and Hero, is nearly scuppered by the accusations of the villain, Don John. The second, between Claudio's friend Benedick and Hero's cousin Beatrice, takes centre stage as the play continues, with both characters' wit and banter providing much of the humour.

Through "noting" (sounding like "nothing" and meaning gossip, rumour, overhearing),[2][3] Benedick and Beatrice are tricked into confessing their love for each other, and Claudio is tricked into believing that Hero is not a maiden (virgin). The title's play on words references the secrets and trickery that form the backbone of the play's comedy, intrigue, and action.



A painting of Beatrice by Frank Dicksee, from The Graphic Gallery of Shakespeare's Heroines

In Messina, a messenger brings news that Don Pedro will return that night from a successful battle, along with Claudio and Benedick. Beatrice asks the messenger about Benedick and mocks Benedick's ineptitude as a soldier. Leonato explains, "There is a kind of merry war betwixt Signor Benedick and her."[4]

On the soldiers' arrival, Don Pedro tells Leonato that they will stay a month at least, and Benedick and Beatrice resume their "merry war". Pedro's illegitimate brother, Don John, is also introduced. Claudio's feelings for Hero are rekindled, and he informs Benedick of his intention to court her. Benedick, who openly despises marriage, tries to dissuade him. Don Pedro encourages the marriage. Benedick swears that he will never marry. Don Pedro laughs at him and tells him he will when he finds the right person.

A masquerade ball is planned. Therein a disguised Don Pedro woos Hero on Claudio's behalf. Don John uses this situation to sow chaos by telling Claudio that Don Pedro is wooing Hero for himself. Claudio rails against the entrapments of beauty. But the misunderstanding is later resolved, and Claudio is promised Hero's hand in marriage.

Meanwhile, Benedick and Beatrice have danced together, trading disparaging remarks under the cover of their masks. Benedick is stung at hearing himself described as "the prince's jester, a very dull fool",[5] and yearns to be spared the company of "Lady Tongue".[5] Don Pedro and his men, bored at the prospect of waiting a week for the wedding, concoct a plan to match-make between Benedick and Beatrice. They arrange for Benedick to overhear a conversation in which they declare that Beatrice is madly in love with him but too afraid to tell him. Hero and Ursula likewise ensure that Beatrice overhears a conversation in which they discuss Benedick's undying love for her. Both Benedick and Beatrice are delighted to think that they are the object of unrequited love, and both resolve to mend their faults and declare their love.

Meanwhile, Don John plots to stop the wedding, embarrass his brother, and wreak misery on Leonato and Claudio. He tells Don Pedro and Claudio that Hero is "disloyal",[5] and arranges for them to see his associate, Borachio, enter her bedchamber and engage amorously with her (it is actually Hero's chambermaid). Claudio and Don Pedro are duped, and Claudio vows to humiliate Hero publicly.

Swooning of Hero in the Church scene by Alfred Elmore

The next day, at the wedding, Claudio denounces Hero before the stunned guests and storms off with Don Pedro. Hero faints. A humiliated Leonato expresses his wish for her to die. The presiding friar intervenes, believing Hero innocent. He suggests that the family fake Hero's death to fill Claudio with remorse. Prompted by the stressful events, Benedick and Beatrice confess their love for each other. Beatrice then asks Benedick to kill Claudio as proof of his devotion. Benedick hesitates but is swayed. Leonato and Antonio blame Claudio for Hero's supposed death and threaten him, to little effect. Benedick arrives and challenges him to a duel.

"Much Ado About Nothing", Act IV, Scene 2, the Examination of Conrade and Borachio (from the Boydell series), Robert Smirke (n.d.)

On the night of Don John's treachery, the local Watch overheard Borachio and Conrade discussing their "treason"[5] and "most dangerous piece of lechery that ever was known in the commonwealth",[5] and arrested them therefore. Despite their ineptitude (headed by constable Dogberry), they obtain a confession and inform Leonato of Hero's innocence. Don John has fled, but a force is sent to capture him. Remorseful and thinking Hero dead, Claudio agrees to her father's demand that he marry Antonio's daughter, "almost the copy of my child that's dead".[4]

After Claudio swears to marry this other bride, she is revealed to be Hero. Claudio is overjoyed. Beatrice and Benedick publicly confess their love for each other. Don Pedro taunts "Benedick the married man",[5] and Benedick counters that he finds the Prince sad, advising him: "Get thee a wife".[5] As the play draws to a close, a messenger arrives with news of Don John's capture, but Benedick proposes to postpone deciding Don John's punishment until tomorrow so that the couples can enjoy their newfound happiness. The couples dance and celebrate as the play ends.

Hero, John William Wright (c. 1849)


Shakespeare's immediate source may have been one of Matteo Bandello of Mantua's Novelle ("Tales"), possibly the translation into French by François de Belleforest,[6] which dealt with the tribulations of Sir Timbreo and his betrothed Fenicia Lionata, in Messina, after Peter III of Aragon's defeat of Charles of Anjou.[7][8] Another version, featuring lovers Ariodante and Ginevra, with the servant Dalinda impersonating Ginevra on the balcony, appears in Book V Ludovico Ariosto's Orlando Furioso (published in an English translation in 1591).[9] The character of Benedick has a counterpart in a commentary on marriage in Orlando Furioso.[10] But the witty wooing of Beatrice and Benedick is apparently original and very unusual in style and syncopation.[6] Edmund Spenser tells one version of the Claudio–Hero plot in The Faerie Queene (Book II, Canto iv).[11]

Date and text

According to the earliest printed text, Much Ado About Nothing was "sundry times publicly acted" before 1600. The play likely debuted in the autumn or winter of 1598–99.[1] The earliest recorded performances are two at Court in the winter of 1612–13, during festivities preceding the Wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Frederick V of the Palatinate (14 February 1613).[12] In 1600, the stationers Andrew Wise and William Aspley published the play in quarto.[13] This was the only edition prior to the First Folio in 1623.[14]

Analysis and criticism


The play is predominantly written in prose.[15] The substantial verse sections achieve a sense of decorum.[16]


Much Ado About Nothing is set in Messina, a port city on the island of Sicily, when Sicily is ruled by Aragon.[17] Its action takes place mainly at the home and grounds of Leonato's Estate.

Themes and motifs

Gender roles

Drawing of Herbert Beerbohm Tree as Benedick and Winifred Emery as Beatrice in a 1905 production. Act II, Scene v: "Kill Claudio".

Benedick and Beatrice quickly became the main interest of the play. They are considered the leading roles even though their relationship is given equal or lesser weight in the script than Claudio's and Hero's situation.[18] Charles I wrote, 'Benedick and Beatrice' beside the title of the play in his copy of the Second Folio.[19] The provocative treatment of gender is central and should be considered in its Renaissance context.[20] This was reflected and emphasized in certain plays of the period but was also challenged.[21] Amussen[22] notes that the undoing of traditional gender clichés seems to have inflamed anxieties about the erosion of social order. It seems that comic drama could be a means of calming such anxieties.[citation needed] Ironically, the play's popularity suggests that this only increased interest in such behavior.[clarification needed][citation needed] Benedick wittily gives voice to male anxieties about women's "sharp tongues and proneness to sexual lightness".[21] In the play's patriarchal society, the men's loyalties are governed by conventional codes of honour, camaraderie, and a sense of superiority over women.[21] Assumptions that women are by nature prone to inconstancy are shown in the repeated jokes about cuckoldry, and partly explain Claudio's readiness to believe the slander against Hero.[citation needed] This stereotype is turned on its head in Balthasar's song "Sigh No More", which presents men as the deceitful and inconstant sex that women must abide.[citation needed]


Several characters seem obsessed with the idea that a man cannot know whether his wife is faithful and that women can take full advantage of this.[citation needed] Don John plays upon Claudio's pride and fear of cuckoldry, leading to the disastrous first wedding. Many of the men readily believe that Hero is impure; even her father condemns her with very little evidence. This motif runs through the play, often referring to horns (a symbol of cuckoldry).

In contrast, Balthasar's song "Sigh No More" tells women to accept men's infidelity and continue to live joyfully. Some interpretations say that Balthasar sings poorly, undercutting the message.[citation needed] This is supported by Benedick's cynical comments about the song, comparing it to a howling dog. In Kenneth Branagh's 1993 film, Balthasar sings it beautifully: it is given a prominent role in the opening and finale, and the women seem to embrace its message.[23]


Beatrice, Hero and Ursula, John Jones, after Henry Fuseli (c. 1771)

The play has many examples of deception and self-deception. The games and tricks played on people often have the best intentions: to make people fall in love, to help someone get what they want, or to lead someone to realize their mistake. But not all are well-meant: Don John convinces Claudio that Don Pedro wants Hero for himself, and Borachio meets 'Hero' (actually Margaret) in Hero's bedroom window. These modes of deceit play into a complementary theme of emotional manipulation, the ease with which the characters' sentiments are redirected and their propensities exploited as a means to an end.[citation needed] The characters' feelings for each other are played as vehicles to reach the goal of engagement rather than as an end in themselves.[citation needed]

Masks and mistaken identity

Characters are constantly pretending to be others or mistaken for others. Margaret is mistaken for Hero, leading to Hero's disgrace. During a masked ball (in which everyone must wear a mask), Beatrice rants about Benedick to a masked man who is actually Benedick, but she acts unaware of this. During the same celebration, Don Pedro pretends to be Claudio and courts Hero for him. After Hero is proclaimed dead, Leonato orders Claudio to marry his 'niece', who is actually Hero.


A watercolor by John Sutcliffe: Beatrice overhears Hero and Ursula.

Another motif is the play on the words nothing and noting. These were near-homophones in Shakespeare's day.[24] Taken literally, the title implies that a great fuss ('much ado') is made of something insignificant ('nothing'), such as the unfounded claims of Hero's infidelity and that Benedick and Beatrice are in love with each other. Nothing is also a double entendre: 'an O-thing' (or 'n othing' or 'no thing') was Elizabethan slang for "vagina", derived from women having 'nothing' between their legs.[6][25][26] The title can also be understood as Much Ado About Noting: much of the action centres on interest in others and critique of others, written messages, spying, and eavesdropping. This attention is mentioned several times directly, particularly concerning 'seeming', 'fashion', and outward impressions.

Examples of noting as noticing occur in the following instances: (1.1.131–132)

Claudio: Benedick, didst thou note the daughter of Signor Leonato?
Benedick: I noted her not, but I looked on her.

and (4.1.154–157).

Friar: Hear me a little,

For I have only been silent so long
And given way unto this course of fortune

By noting of the lady.

At (3.3.102–104), Borachio indicates that a man's clothing doesn't reveal his character:

Borachio: Thou knowest that the fashion of a doublet, or a hat, or a cloak is nothing to a man.

A triple play on words in which noting signifies noticing, musical notes, and nothing, occurs at (2.3.47–52):

Don Pedro: Nay pray thee, come;

Or if thou wilt hold longer argument,
Do it in notes.
Balthasar: Note this before my notes:
There's not a note of mine that's worth the noting.
Don Pedro: Why, these are very crotchets that he speaks –

Note notes, forsooth, and nothing!

Don Pedro's last line can be understood to mean 'Pay attention to your music and nothing else!' The complex layers of meaning include a pun on 'crotchets', which can mean both 'quarter notes' (in music) and whimsical notions.

The following are puns on notes as messages: (2.1.174–176),

Claudio: I pray you leave me.
Benedick: Ho, now you strike like the blind man – 'twas the boy that stole your meat, and you'll beat the post.

in which Benedick plays on the word post as a pole and as mail delivery in a joke reminiscent of Shakespeare's earlier advice 'Don't shoot the messenger'; and (2.3.138–142)

Claudio: Now you talk of a sheet of paper, I remember a pretty jest your daughter told us of.
Leonato: O, when she had writ it and was reading it over, she found Benedick and Beatrice between the sheet?

in which Leonato makes a sexual innuendo, concerning sheet as a sheet of paper (on which Beatrice's love note to Benedick is to have been written), and a bedsheet.

William Davenant staged The Law Against Lovers (1662), which inserted Beatrice and Benedick into an adaptation of Measure for Measure.[27] Another adaptation, The Universal Passion, combined Much Ado with a play by Molière (1737).[27] John Rich had revived Shakespeare's text at Lincoln's Inn Fields (1721).[27] David Garrick first played Benedick in 1748 and continued to play him until 1776.[28]

In 1836, Helena Faucit played Beatrice at the very beginning of her career at Covent Garden, opposite Charles Kemble as Benedick in his farewell performances.[29] The great 19th-century stage team Henry Irving and Ellen Terry counted Benedick and Beatrice as their greatest triumph.[citation needed] John Gielgud made Benedick one of his signature roles between 1931 and 1959, playing opposite Diana Wynyard, Peggy Ashcroft, and Margaret Leighton.[27] The longest-running Broadway production is A. J. Antoon's 1972 staging, starring Sam Waterston, Kathleen Widdoes, and Barnard Hughes.[citation needed] Derek Jacobi won a Tony Award for playing Benedick in 1984.[30] Jacobi had also played Benedick in the Royal Shakespeare Company's highly praised 1982 production, with Sinéad Cusack playing Beatrice.[27] Director Terry Hands produced the play on a stage-length mirror against an unchanging backdrop of painted trees.[citation needed] In 2013, Vanessa Redgrave and James Earl Jones (then in their seventies and eighties, respectively) played Beatrice and Benedick onstage at The Old Vic, London.[27]

Actors, theatres, and awards

Print of Ellen Terry as Beatrice and Henry Irving as Benedick in an 1887 performance of the play



The operas Montano et Stéphanie (1799) by Jean-Élie Bédéno Dejaure and Henri-Montan Berton, Béatrice et Bénédict (1862) by Hector Berlioz, Beaucoup de bruit pour rien (pub. 1898) by Paul Puget, Viel Lärm um Nichts (1896) by Árpád Doppler, and Much Ado About Nothing by Sir Charles Villiers Stanford (1901) are based upon the play.[40]

The composer Edward MacDowell said he was inspired by Ellen Terry's portrayal of Beatrice in this play for the scherzo of his Piano Concerto No. 2.[41]

Erich Wolfgang Korngold composed music for a 1917 production at the Vienna Burgtheater by Max Reinhardt.[citation needed]

In 2006 the American Music Theatre Project produced The Boys Are Coming Home,[42] a musical adaptation by Berni Stapleton and Leslie Arden that sets Much Ado About Nothing in America during the Second World War.

The title track of the 2009 Mumford & Sons album Sigh No More uses quotes from this play in the song. The title of the album is also a quotation from the play.[citation needed]

In 2015, Billie Joe Armstrong wrote the music for a rock opera adaptation of the play, These Paper Bullets, which was written by Rolin Jones.[43]

Opera McGill commissioned an operatic adaptation of the play with music by James Garner and libretto adapted by Patrick Hansen, to premiere in Montréal in the 2023/24 season.[44][45]


The first cinematic version in English may have been the 1913 silent film directed by Phillips Smalley.[citation needed]

Martin Hellberg's 1964 East German film Viel Lärm um nichts was based on the play.[citation needed] In 1973 a Soviet film adaptation was directed by Samson Samsonov, starring Galina Jovovich and Konstantin Raikin.[citation needed]

The first sound version in English released to cinemas was the highly acclaimed 1993 film by Kenneth Branagh.[46] It starred Branagh as Benedick, Branagh's then-wife Emma Thompson as Beatrice, Denzel Washington as Don Pedro, Keanu Reeves as Don John, Richard Briers as Leonato, Michael Keaton as Dogberry, Robert Sean Leonard as Claudio, Imelda Staunton as Margaret, and Kate Beckinsale in her film debut as Hero.

The 2001 Hindi film Dil Chahta Hai is a loose adaptation of the play.[47]

In 2011, Joss Whedon completed filming an adaptation,[48] released in June 2013. The cast includes Amy Acker as Beatrice, Alexis Denisof as Benedick, Nathan Fillion as Dogberry, Clark Gregg as Leonato, Reed Diamond as Don Pedro, Fran Kranz as Claudio, Jillian Morgese as Hero, Sean Maher as Don John, Spencer Treat Clark as Borachio, Riki Lindhome as Conrade, Ashley Johnson as Margaret, Tom Lenk as Verges, and Romy Rosemont as the sexton. Whedon's adaptation is a contemporary revision with an Italian-mafia theme.

In 2012 a filmed version of the live 2011 performance at The Globe was released to cinemas and on DVD.[citation needed] The same year, a filmed version of the 2011 performance at Wyndham's Theatre was made available for download or streaming on the Digital Theatre website.[citation needed]

In 2015, Owen Drake created a modern movie version of the play, Messina High, starring Faye Reagan.[49]

The 2023 romantic comedy Anyone But You directed by Will Gluck and co-written by Ilana Wolpert,[50][51] and starring Sydney Sweeney and Glen Powell as analogues of Beatrice and Benedick, is a loose adaptation principally set in contemporary Australia.

Television and web series

There have been several screen adaptations of Much Ado About Nothing, almost all of them made for television.[citation needed] An adaptation is the 1973 New York Shakespeare Festival production by Joseph Papp, shot on videotape and released on VHS and DVD, that includes more of the text than Branagh's version.[citation needed] It is directed by A. J. Antoon. The Papp production stars Sam Waterston, Kathleen Widdoes, and Barnard Hughes.

The 1984 BBC Television version stars Lee Montague as Leonato, Cherie Lunghi as Beatrice, Katharine Levy as Hero, Jon Finch as Don Pedro, Robert Lindsay as Benedick, Robert Reynolds as Claudio, Gordon Whiting as Antonio and Vernon Dobtcheff as Don John.[citation needed] An earlier BBC television version with Maggie Smith and Robert Stephens, adapted from Franco Zeffirelli's stage production for the National Theatre Company's London stage production, was broadcast in February 1967.[52]

In 2005, the BBC adapted the story by setting it in the modern-day studios of Wessex Tonight, a fictional regional news programme, as part of the ShakespeaRe-Told season, with Damian Lewis, Sarah Parish, and Billie Piper.[53]

The 2014 YouTube web series Nothing Much to Do is a modern retelling of the play, set in New Zealand.[54]

In 2019, PBS recorded a live production of the Public Theater's 2019 Shakespeare in the Park production at the Delacorte Theater in New York City’s Central Park for Great Performances. The all-Black cast features Danielle Brooks and Grantham Coleman as Beatrice and Benedick, directed by Kenny Leon, with choreography by Camille A. Brown.[55] The cast also includes Jamar Brathwaite (Ensemble), Chuck Cooper (Leonato), Javen K. Crosby (Ensemble), Denzel DeAngelo Fields (Ensemble), Jeremie Harris (Claudio), Tayler Harris (Ensemble), Erik Laray Harvey (Antonio/Verges), Kai Heath (Messenger), Daniel Croix Henderson (Balthasar), Tyrone Mitchell Henderson (Friar Francis/Sexton), Tiffany Denise Hobbs (Ursula), Lateefah Holder (Dogberry), LaWanda Hopkins (Dancer), Billy Eugene Jones (Don Pedro), Margaret Odette (Hero), Hubert Point-Du Jour (Don John), William Roberson (Ensemble), Jaime Lincoln Smith (Borachio), Jazmine Stewart (Ensemble), Khiry Walker (Conrade/Ensemble), Olivia Washington (Margaret) and Latra A. Wilson (Dancer).


In 2016, Lily Anderson released the young adult novel The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You, a modern adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing whose main characters, Trixie Watson and Ben West, attend a "school for geniuses".[56]

In 2017, Mckelle George released a YA adaptation, Speak Easy, Speak Love, in which the play's events take place in the 1920s, focused around a failing speakeasy.[57]

In 2018, Molly Booth released a summer YA novel adaptation, Nothing Happened, in which Claudio and Hero are a queer couple, Claudia and Hana.[58]

In 2019, Laura Wood released Under a Dancing Star, a YA modernized version set in Florence.[59]

In 2022, Chloe Liese released Two Wrongs Make a Right, a contemporary romance reimagining of the tale.[60]


In his text on Jonathan Swift from 1940, Johannes V. Jensen cited Don John's line

I am trusted with a muzzle and enfranchised with a clog; therefore I have decreed not to sing in my cage. If I had my mouth, I would bite; if I had my liberty, I would do my liking: in the meantime let me be that I am and seek not to alter me.

Jensen later explained that this was a reference to the censorship imposed after the German invasion of Denmark in 1940.[61]

See also


  1. ^ a b See textual notes to Much Ado About Nothing in The Norton Shakespeare (W. W. Norton & Company, 1997 ISBN 0-393-97087-6) p. 1387
  2. ^ McEachern, Claire, ed. (2016). "Introduction". Much Ado About Nothing. The Arden Shakespeare, Third Series (2nd revised ed.). Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 2. ISBN 978-1-903436-83-7.
  3. ^ Zitner, Sheldon P., ed. (2008). Much Ado About Nothing. Oxford World's Classics. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 131–132. ISBN 978-0-19-953611-5.
  4. ^ a b "Much Ado About Nothing: Act 1, Scene 1". Retrieved 6 August 2015.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g "Much Ado About Nothing: Entire Play". Retrieved 31 July 2021.
  6. ^ a b c Rasmussen, Eric; Bate, Jonathan (2007). "Much Ado About Nothing". The RSC Shakespeare: the complete works. New York: Macmillan. p. 257. ISBN 978-0-230-00350-7.
  7. ^ Gordon, D. J. (1942). ""Much Ado about Nothing": A Possible Source for the Hero-Claudio Plot". Studies in Philology. 39 (2): 279–290. ISSN 0039-3738. JSTOR 4172572 – via JSTOR.
  8. ^ Gaw, Allison (1935). "Is Shakespeare's Much Ado a Revised Earlier Play?". PMLA. 50 (3): 715–738. doi:10.2307/458213. ISSN 0030-8129. JSTOR 458213. S2CID 163471928 – via JSTOR.
  9. ^ Evans, G. Blakemore (1997). "Much Ado about Nothing". The Riverside Shakespeare. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. p. 361. ISBN 0-395-85822-4.
  10. ^ Dusinberre, Juliet (1998). "Much Ado About Lying". In Marrapodi, Michele (ed.). The Italian world of English Renaissance drama: cultural exchange and intertextuality. Newark: University of Delaware Press. p. 244. ISBN 0-87413-638-5.
  11. ^ Harrison, GB, ed. (1968). "Much Ado About Nothing introduction". Shakespeare: the Complete Works. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc. p. 697. ISBN 0-15-580530-4.
  12. ^ David M. Bergeron, The Duke of Lennox, 1574–1624: A Jacobean Courtier's Life (Edinburgh, 2022), pp. 108–9.
  13. ^ "Much Ado About Nothing, first edition". Shakespeare Documented. Retrieved 25 February 2023.
  14. ^ Goff, Moira. "Much Ado About Nothing – Shakespeare in quarto". Retrieved 25 February 2023.
  15. ^ "Much Ado About Nothing: Entire Play". Retrieved 12 November 2012.
  16. ^ A. R. Humphreys, ed. (1981). Much Ado About Nothing. Arden Edition.
  17. ^ Bate, Jonathan (2008). Soul of the Age: the Life, Mind and World of William Shakespeare. London: Viking. p. 305. ISBN 978-0-670-91482-1.
  18. ^ "British Library". Retrieved 25 February 2023.
  19. ^ G. Blakemore Evans, The Riverside Shakespeare, Houghton Mifflin, 1974; p. 327.
  20. ^ "The Spectre of Marriage: Gender Discomfort in Much Ado About Nothing".
  21. ^ a b c McEachern, Much Ado About Nothing, Arden; 3rd edition, 2005.
  22. ^ Amussen, Ordered Society, Columbia University Press (15 April 1994).
  23. ^ Deleyto, Celestino (1997). "Men in Leather: Kenneth Branagh's Much Ado about Nothing and Romantic Comedy". Cinema Journal. 36 (3). University of Texas Press: 91–105. doi:10.2307/1225677. JSTOR 1225677.
  24. ^ See Stephen Greenblatt's introduction to Much Ado about Nothing in The Norton Shakespeare (W. W. Norton & Company, 1997 ISBN 0-393-97087-6), p. 1383.
  25. ^ See Gordon Williams A Glossary of Shakespeare's Sexual Language (Athlone Press, 1997 ISBN 0-485-12130-1) at p. 219: "As Shakespeare's title ironically acknowledges, vagina and virginity are a nothing causing Much Ado."
  26. ^ Dexter, Gary (13 February 2011). "Title Deed: How the Book Got its Name". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 11 January 2022.
  27. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Kathryn Prince, "Performance History", in Much Ado About Nothing: A Critical Reader, edited by Deborah Cartmell and Peter J. Smith (Bloomsbury, 2018).
  28. ^ F. E. Halliday, A Shakespeare Companion 1564–1964. Baltimore, Penguin, 1964, pp. 326 f.
  29. ^ a b Gertrude Carr-Davison, "Beatrice and Hero", The Theatre (1 December 1881), p. 331.
  30. ^ Genzlinger, Neil (10 February 2020). "Terry Hands, Director Known for Hits and 'Carrie,' Dies at 79". New York Times. Retrieved 24 July 2022.
  31. ^ "Much Ado About Nothing", The Theatre (1 November 1882), p. 294.
  32. ^ Somerset, Alan (3 January 2019). "Much Ado About Nothing (1987, Stratford Festival of Canada)". Internet Shakespeare Editions. University of Victoria. Retrieved 18 January 2020.
  33. ^ "Theatre review: Much Ado About Nothing / Olivier, London". The Guardian. 19 December 2007. Retrieved 26 January 2023.
  34. ^ Spencer, Charles (30 May 2011). "Much Ado About Nothing, Shakespeare's Globe, review". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 11 January 2022.
  35. ^ Cavendish, Dominic (10 May 2011). "David Tennant and Catherine Tate interview for 'Much Ado About Nothing'". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 11 January 2022. Retrieved 28 May 2011.
  36. ^ "Much Ado About Nothing review – Mel Giedroyc blazes through Great Sicilian Bake Off". The Guardian. 19 April 2018. Retrieved 26 January 2023.
  37. ^ Mackenzie Nichols (11 June 2019). "Shakespeare's 'Much Ado About Nothing' Gets a 21st Century Makeover". Variety.
  38. ^ Thomas, Dillon (14 September 2022). "'Much Ado About Nothing' gets a modern take at DCPA". KCNC-TV. Retrieved 20 April 2023.
  39. ^ Nestruk, J. Kelly (17 June 2023). "Stratford Festival: Much Ado About Nothing is really something else with a little Shields added to the Shakespeare". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 19 June 2023.
  40. ^ Daly, Karina, Tom Walsh's Opera: A history of the Wexford Festival, 1951–2004, Four Courts, 2004. ISBN 1-85182-878-8; the Workpage for Puget's opera at IMSLP.
  41. ^ ^Jeremy Nicholas. Booklet notes to Hyperion CDA67165
  42. ^ Simonson, Robert. "Cast Set for Gary Griffin-Directed The Boys Are Coming Home, at Northwestern's American Music Theatre Project" Archived 5 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine. 28 May 2008.
  43. ^ "These Paper Bullets!/Nov 20, 2015 – Jan 10, 2016". Atlantic Theater Company. Archived from the original on 16 January 2016. Retrieved 30 April 2016.
  44. ^ "Much Ado Opera Workshop | Repercussion Theatre".
  45. ^ "Much Ado! – 2019 – Festival • Opera NUOVA – Opera Training & Events in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada".
  46. ^ "Much Ado About Nothing". IMDb.
  47. ^ Ramesh, Randeep (29 July 2006). "A matter of caste as Bollywood embraces the Bard". Guardian. London. Retrieved 5 April 2011.
  48. ^ "Much Ado About Nothing". Retrieved 23 October 2011.
  49. ^ "Messina High". 17 August 2015 – via IMDb.
  50. ^ "Glen Powell on X". 16 November 2023.
  51. ^ Gates, Marya E. "Anyone But You movie review & film summary (2023) | Roger Ebert". Retrieved 22 December 2023.
  52. ^ "Dame Again. Early 'lost' Maggie Smith appearance painstakingly restored". BBC. September 2016. Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  53. ^ "BBC updates Shakespeare". The Guardian. 15 March 2005. Retrieved 26 January 2023.
  54. ^ "Nothing Much to Do (TV Series 2014) – IMDB". IMDB. Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  55. ^ "All-black 'Much Ado About Nothing' brings Shakespeare into 21st century on PBS". Boston Herald. 17 November 2019. Retrieved 22 June 2020.
  56. ^ "The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You". Kirkus Reviews. 16 March 2016. Retrieved 23 February 2020.
  57. ^ "Speak Easy, Speak Love". Harper Collins. Retrieved 15 April 2021.
  58. ^ "Nothing Happened Molly's second book is out now from Disney Hyperion!". Molly Horton Booth. Retrieved 15 April 2021.
  59. ^ "Under a Dancing Star". Goodreads. Retrieved 3 June 2023.
  60. ^ "Two Wrongs Make a Right by Chloe Liese: 9780593441503 | Books". Retrieved 26 February 2024.
  61. ^ Johannes V. Jensen (1950), Swift og Oehlenschläger (in Danish), Copenhagen: Gyldendal, p. 7, Wikidata Q108935398