William Shakespeare has written many different categories of plays: comedies,
tragedies, romances, and histories. Comparisons are abundant between many of
Shakespeares works. Numerous comparisons can be made in characters, plot, and
speech between Romeo and Juliet, which is a tragedy, and Much Ado About Nothing,
which is a comedy.
First, corresponding characters in both plays include
villains, lovers, and friends in addition to characters who provide comic
relief. These works have a similar villain. Tybalt of Romeo and Juliet is
similar to Don John in Much Ado About Nothing in that both characters do not
approve of the lovers relationships and wish to break them up. Furthermore,
Romeo and Juliet are similar to Claudio and Hero, who are the leading couples in
The comic relief in each play is the watch in Much Ado About Nothing
and the servants in Romeo and Juliet. Also, Mercutio and Bene*censored* are both
scornful of love. However, Bene*censored* does finally fall in love with
Beatrice. Additionally, each male young lover has his group of friends in each
However, in Much Ado About Nothing, Hero also has her group of
acquaintances; Juliet does not. Also, several similarities in plot exist between
Romeo and Juliet and Much Ado About Nothing. In each of these plays, a romance
between young lovers includes a false death of the female character, which the
male character believes to be real. In Romeo and Juliet, there is a fatal
ending; in which both of the lovers kill themselves because they would rather
die than go on living without each other.
However, in Much Ado About Nothing,
the false death is discovered before there are any real deaths. Both couples do
end up together, although one is in life and the other in death. In addition,
similarities in speech occur in these works. Of course, the same Shakespearean
language is in each work.
Both of these plays have apparent oxymorons about
love. In Romeo and Juliet, Romeo says of his crush at the time, O brawling
love, O loving hate (Shakespeare, 1.1.181).
And in Much Ado About Nothing,
Beatrice asks Bene*censored*, But for which of my good parts did you first
suffer love for me? (Shakespeare 5.2. 63-64). Suffer love is an apparent
oxymoron because it consists of two dissimilar terms.
Also, the much overused
rhetorical poetry is present in both of the plays. Additionally, the rules of
Shakespearean addressing are used in both. In conclusion, William
Shakespeares Romeo and Juliet and Much Ado About Nothing can be compared in
characters, plot, and speech. These comparisons are made between two different
categories of plays; comedy and tragedy.
Epstein, Norrie. The Friendly Shakespeare. Penguin Books, New York. 1993
B. Shakespeares Tragedies. Oxford University Press, New York,
1969 Shakespeare, William. Much Ado About Nothing.
Penguin Books, New York, 1987
Shakespeare, William. Romeo and Juliet. Penguin Books, New York, 1993