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First approaches - studying
drama as a genre
Performance - crucial to consider how the
play will be presented on the stage and how
the audience will perceive it. (Elizabethan...
Consider motives of the playwright - why did
s/he choose particular plots, characters and
themes? Purpose and context are vital
Conflicts are at the heart of the genre and
are frequently multi-faceted. Identifying the
conflicts allows you to identify the main
themes and plots…read more

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How to study Shakespeare
Identify themes, plots, sub-plots and
Consider your own response to characters
and how your feelings develop and change.
Why is this? What is Shakespeare's motive
for presenting and revealing characters and
Consider how dramatic devices such as
soliloquy are used…read more

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How to study Shakespeare
Language: quote precisely to back up your
opinions, with Act, scene and line references
Comment in detail, where appropriate, on
linguistic devices, nuances, subtle shifts in
Consider context - of situation, setting, time
play was written, effect in performance…read more

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Much Ado About Nothing
Significance of wordplay in title:
­ `Much Ado' suggests light-heartedness - soon
dispelled by action, language & characterisation
­ Nothing/Noting - pun, easily recognised in
Shakespeare's time from similarity of
pronunciation. Much of play concerns noting,
spying, overhearing and misconceiving
­ Sexual connotations of title as `no thing' was
Elizabethan euphemism for female genitalia;
`thing' was euphemism for male genitalia. Hence
pun of title that `much ado' was caused in sexual
pursuit…read more

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Act 1, sc 1
Characters are introduced
Claudio falls in love with Hero and Don
Pedro will woo her for him in disguise
as Claudio
Beatrice and Benedick vow never to
marry…read more

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