Much Ado About Nothing Term Paper

Length: 2 pages Subject: Communication - Language Type: Term Paper Paper: #56605465 Related Topics: Languages, Linguistics, Comedy, Shakespeare
Excerpt from Term Paper :

Dogberry in "Much Ado About Nothing"

In "Much Ado About Nothing," Shakespeare presents a kind of drawing-room comedy, where people's efforts to demonstrate the social graces of the day create all sorts of problems. Beatrice has a sharp tongue but gets away with it because her words are formed in the style of the day. Her cousin Hero, however, is greatly harmed by other people's talk, with her character badly maligned. The story really is much ado about nothing, because the events never would have happened if people had kept true civility behind their words. This misuse of words is emphasized in the play in the character of Dogberry.

Since the play is a demonstration of social norms, including those regarding manner of speaking, gone awry, Dogberry plays an important role. Dogberry's name gives the viewer a clue about his


Dogberry raises the art of using words in extravagant ways to the height of absurdity. He is proud of his ability to read and write but does not seem to notice how ridiculously he uses language. He speaks plainly enough when speaking to social equals, his fellow watchmen, although his advice is absurd. In Act III Scene iii, he explains how to handle suspicious individuals while on duty. On encountering a thief, he says,

"If you meet a thief, you may suspect him, by virtue of your office, to be no true man; and, for such kind of men, the less you meddle or make with them, why, the more is for your honesty...The most peaceable way for you, if you do take a thief, is, to let him show himself what he is and steal out of your company."

While the advice is absurd, it is witty and to the point.

Dogberry's use of…

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