|Song: Act 2 Scene 3, 53-68Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more,Men were deceivers ever,One foot in sea and one on shore,To one thing constant never:Then sigh not so, but let them go,And be you blithe and bonny,Converting all your sounds of woeInto Hey nonny, nonny.Sing no more ditties, sing no moe,Of dumps so dull and heavy;The fraud of men was ever so,Since Summer first was leavy. Then sigh not so, but let them go, And be your blithe and bonny, Converting all your sounds of woe, Into hey nonny nonnny.
||This example explores the theme of deception and faithlessness of men, and implores women to accept this. Oddly, it is chosen by Don Pedro to be sung to Hero, to serenade her. Also foreshadows deception.
|Claudio(to Benedick): Didst thou note the daughter of Signor Leonato? [1.1.118]Claudio: You speak this to fetch me in, my lord. [Act 1 Scene 1, 165]Benedick(to Beatrice): “by this hand I love thee” [4.1.308]
||Thee/thou is informal. You is formal. Demonstrates power relationships. For example, Claudio is formal when addressing Don Pedro and not Benedick. Thee is to be used between good friends, lovers or in a derogatory way.
|Messenger: And a good soldier too, lady. Beatrice: And a good soldier to a lady, but what is he to a lord?Here, Beatrice switches too-to, subtly creating a slightly ribald joke out of the messenger’s words, undermining Benedick, and touching on the running motif of CUCKOLDING.
||Puns are used in Much Ado, where a play is made on the fact a word that sounds the same can have different meaning. It is humorous, displays the character’s wit-but also shows how easily we are deceived as the characters are within the play. Part of the joy in deception of Beatrice and Benedick comes from two intelligent people being mildly humbled.
|[Act 5 Scene 1]Dogberry: Marry, sir, they have committed false report, moreover they have spoken untruths, secondarily, they are slanders, sixth and lastly, they have belied a lady, thirdly they have verified unjust things, and to conclude, they are lying knaves/. Don Pedro: First I ask thee what they have done, thirdly I ask thee what’s their offence, sixth and lastly why are they committed, and to conclude, what you lay to their charge? (He is mocking Dogberry).
||Dogberry is a wonderful fool, who attempts and fails to use language in the witty and easy way his social superiors do. His failure to control language in his dialogue actually marginalises him: DP disengages conversation with him, frustrated by his repetitive and clumsy use of language and malapropisms which are impenetrable to those about him but wonderfully (unknowingly) humorous to the audience.
|[Act 4 Scene 1, a church]Claudio: Sweet prince, you learn me noble thankfulness(Good Prince, you have taught me how to accept things nobly. ):/There, Leonato, take her back again./Give not this rotten orange to your friend,/ She’s but the sign and semblance of her honour:/ Behold how like a maid she blushes here!/ Oh what authority and show of truth/ Can cunning sin cover itself withal!
||Alternating purposefully between prose and verse. Claudio uses verse when shaming Hero. It is a performance for DP, and designed to inflict pain and display his command of language. His authority is also emphasized as the cast also switches to verse. (shown by organisation of the paragraph of text)