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English Literature

Language

Shakespeare's technique

We can also deal with language in Much Ado About Nothing by looking at the techniques Shakespeare used. Some of these techniques (and names) might seem difficult at first. If that is the case, just think about what the play would sound like if the technique was not used. For instance, when Claudio is rejecting Hero at the church, imagine he says to Leonato:

"Take this woman back"

Well, yes, it is easy to understand, but it is not unusual or interesting. And it does not show how bitter Claudio is. So instead, he says:

"Give not this rotten orange to your friend"

The "rotten orange" is Hero. Claudio is talking about her as if she is beautiful on the outside but decayed inside - she has turned bad but no-one has seen this yet. Claudio's words are unusual, but the audience can immediately relate to them and remember his ideas. So if you are not too sure of a technique, remove it and compare the two versions - what effect does Shakespeare's technique have on you?

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