Well, it was inevitable. Any list of plays must feature something by Shakespeare. Even if the list were of bad plays, he would still have to be included. As much as I enjoy Hamlet, and Macbeth, and Romeo and Juliet, I chose to highlight a less obvious choice, Much Ado about Nothing. It is my favorite of Shakespeare’s works and, as it is a comedy, it has the added feature of a happy ending, which those other three lack. It has the usual Shakespearean elements: lovely maidens and the men who love them, verbal sparring with witty rejoinders, mistaken identity, faked death, royalty, clergy, and villainy.
It is the story of two couples, Benedict and Beatrice, and Claudio and Hero. Love is never easy in a Shakespeare play, and Much Ado about Nothing is no exception. Obstacles are placed in the way of their happiness, by external as well as internal forces. There are characters that begrudge the happiness of Claudio and Hero, while Benedict and Beatrice are their own worst enemies. This may be a case of a story being “about the journey, not the destination”. Like most romantic comedies, it seems obvious that the ending will be a happy one, but it is a funny and entertaining play that gets you there.