“Good comedy is tragedy narrowly averted”: these words were spoken by Jonathon Bate and Eric Rasmussen in their publishing of ‘William Shakespeare: Complete Works’. They show how many elements of comedy could be interpreted as almost tragic. The comedy in Much Ado About Nothing is often created when the audience can see that something could go horribly wrong, however it is saved in the nick of time. A sense of relief and light-heartedness is created, as customarily comedy is known to end in a meeting of characters at a gleeful point in time or occasion; most frequently with a wedding.
There are many situations …show more content…
There is a mix up as Leonato is too impatient to listen to what Dogberry has to say and so instructs Dogberry to conduct the trial of Borachio and Conrade himself. The light heartedness of this scene creates a sense of false hope in the audience as they think tragedy may have been averted, when in fact the next scene creates furthermore tension and potential tragedy. Shakespeare carefully structures the scenes like this to heighten the audience’s concern for Hero.
Although comedy’s main expectations are laughter and light-heartedness, Shakespeare manages to create many other tragic moments in ‘Much Ado’. One of them is shown by Leonato’s grief for Hero. We expect only to see grief like his in a tragedy, “Do not live, Hero, do not open thine eyes,” once again we see the play begin to take a very dark and sombre turn. Although Leonato knows his daughter is not dead he grieves as if she were. This drives home the intensity of the pain and distress caused by Claudio’s accusation on Hero and her family. Leonato’s behaviour accentuates just how important her reputation was to them. Even though this scene is beginning to look like there is no hope for Hero, the audience are reminded of the genre of the play and how all problems will be resolved somehow. Friar Francis comes up with a plan, he exclaims that if Hero were dead she “Shall be lamented, pitied and excused.” Although this pivotal turning point will create many joyous outcomes in