Unit 3 Much Ado About Nothing

Unit Description

This unit uses William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing as a vehicle to help you consider how a person is powerless in the face of rumor and how reputations can alter lives, both for good and for ill. You will consider comedy and what makes us laugh. You will see how the standards of beauty and societal views toward women have changed since the Elizabethan Age and reflect on reasons for those changes. As you consider the play, you will write on the passages that inspire and plague you and on topics relating to one of the themes in the play. Finally, you will bring Shakespeare's words to life in individual performances and in group scene presentations.

Close reading of the texts in this unit will help you answer these Guiding Questions:

  • What are society's expectations with regard to gender roles?
  • Does humor transcend time? Do we share the same sense of humor as our ancestors?
  • How do we judge people?
  • How important is reputation?

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