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Языкознание. База III 


“Much Ado About Nothing” by William Shakespeare & “All Is Vanity” by Christina Schwarz.

Доклад; 9 стр.










Plot development and comedy in Much Ado rely heavily on the use of noting. The play appears to have a simple plot; the romantic couple, Claudio and Hero, are denied marital joy by the evil Don John while the sub-plot, Beatrice’s and Benedick’s resisted but growing love, provides us with some humour until order and happiness are re-established in Messina. However, Shakespeare cleverly employs the many forms of noting (observation, misunderstanding, misreporting) to move the dramatic action forward. The main plot and the sub-plots are laced together with this device and, to emphasise the importance of noting, the audience is denied viewing the vital episode where Claudio and Don Pedro witness what they think is Hero’s debauchery – we observe the watch eavesdropping on Borachio recounting the event to Conrade. This eavesdropping reminds us of the orchard scenes where Beatrice and Benedick are tricked into loving each other. They both come closer to a position of self-knowledge and this enables the “merry war” of Beatrice and Benedick to move a step further to its conclusion.


Schwarz deals with notions of class and class mobility throughout the novel. How would you describe the class structure that she portrays? What does it mean for one to be "classy"? Are social classes real, fixed entities or are they perspectives that one adopts?

Mothering is another theme in All Is Vanity. Letty is a mother of four children, and early on, Margaret, buying baby name books, describes herself as a mother because of her novel-writing efforts. What do you think are the similarities between mothers and authors? Do you believe both positions bear the same kind of social devaluation (such as people’s assumptions that it doesn’t take much effort to be a mother or to write a book)?






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