Much Ado About Nothing


William Shakespeare

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Much Ado About Nothing Symbols

Read our modern English translation.


The title of Much Ado About Nothing was originally a double-entendre. Elizabethans pronounced the word “nothing,” in the same way as the word “noting.” Both of these meanings are important. First, most of the action… (read full symbol analysis)


Beards are a complicated symbol of masculinity in Much Ado About Nothing. Benedick’s beard symbolizes his rugged bachelorhood, while Claudio’s clean-shaven face indicates his “softness,” and vulnerability—Benedick at one point calls him “Lord Lack-beard.”… (read full symbol analysis)


Eyes are a metonym for perception in Much Ado About Nothing, which means that the word "eye" is often mentioned by a character who really means by it any kind of perception, not just… (read full symbol analysis)

The Savage Bull

Don Pedro teases Benedick that “In time the savage bull doth bear the yoke.” This image acts as a symbol for marriage throughout the play. Just as the free and proud bull is broken and… (read full symbol analysis)