Film Versus Theatre Presentations of William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing

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Film Versus Theatre Presentations of William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing

Shakespeare's comedy Much Ado About Nothing is a witty play that is interpreted in many different ways for many different audiences. Branaugh's movie rendition, compared to the Shenandoah Shakespeare Company's play, have many separately emphasized points. If we look at elements such as use of space, costuming, and love relationships we find that Kenneth Branaugh emphasizes the separation of the military from the domestic which eventually heads down to the separation of men and women, while in the stage production, the director emphasizes the relationship and friendship between Claudio, Benedict, and Don Pedro. In Branaugh's movie version of Much
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The military men were still dressed in their suits but did not seem as out of place as they did in the movie. The distinction between the domestic and military space was not emphasized as it was in the movie and having all of the characters sitting on the stage at one time made the two groups mingle together as a whole. The company chose to act the play in this manner, but I felt that having the two separate groups made the plot more realistic. The movie emphasized the two separate groups well when both meet after the first scene for dinner. The two groups come in from different sides of the courtyard and meet in the middle. The soldiers enter in a perfectly shaped 'V' with their uniforms on while the domestic people enter in an awkwardly shaped 'V' almost impersonating the military. The sense of form and power is established at this point in the movie. The domestic group enters the masquerade before the soldiers in an intermingling line of men and women with no established order. The military enters the masquerade in a perfectly shaped form allowing the audience to see the sense of order and conduct within the soldiers. The military are also wearing identical face masks so that they cannot be distinguished from one another, but can be distinguished as a group. The play does not emphasize either the meeting for dinner or the masquerade as well as the movie. It allows the two

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