A Comparison Between The Plots Of King Lear And Much Ado About Nothing

1194 words - 5 pages

It is no revolutionary statement to say that William Shakespeare wrote some of the greatest plays of all time. This is accepted by everyone from high schoolers to experts as fact. But everyone is always wondering, what makes them great? Well, at the heart of every great Shakespeare play is a well written plot. But how can one man churn out all these plays he’s written, and still have new content in each one? Aren’t they all the same story to some extent? As Lindsay Smith writes, “Many Shakespeare plays, like most typical Renaissance plays, are divided into scenes and acts. There are five acts and anywhere from three to five scenes per act.” So his plays can’t be all that different, right? This statement will be examined after taking a closer look at the plots of King Lear and Much Ado about Nothing. There are both similarities and differences in King Lear’s and Much Ado about Nothing’s plots in the rising action, climax, and resolution.
Initially, There are both similarities and differences in King Lear’s and Much Ado about Nothing’s plots in the rising action. In both cases, you aren’t given much time upon beginning until situations start to escalate. Now, before I say anything about King Lear’s plot, I’d like to point out that it is a difficult play to follow. Joseph Carroll would agree, as he makes this claim. “King Lear is widely regarded as one of the greatest works of world literature, but also as one of the most challenging. The challenge is not just in the complexity of the language and the need for notes explaining obsolete terms and idioms – those problems are common to all of William Shakespeare’s plays. Instead, King Lear is exceptionally demanding emotionally and imaginatively.” With that said, the rising action in King Lear begins when Lear steps down from his position of power, offering each of his daughters a share of his land in exchange for proclaiming their love for him. Cordelia refuses to do so, and is banished. In the alternative plot in King Lear, Edmund is turning his father on his legitimate brother, Edgar. In Much Ado about Nothing, the rising action begins as soon as Claudio lays eyes on Hero. From here he begins to court her, hoping to marry her. Now in comparison, these plays are similar in rising action in that both start out with a but a ripple of what is to come. But, they are vastly different in the directions they take; Claudio has some difficulty in reaching his goal, but attains it. But for everyone involved with King Lear, thing go downhill real fast.
Also, there are both similarities and differences in King Lear’s and Much Ado about Nothing’s plots in the climax. In both cases, the bad guys ruin everything that was going well to begin with. In Much Ado, the climax happens the night before the wedding, as Kristen Zomparelli will briefly detail. “The conflict of the play fully illustrates the detrimental flaws in the ruling system. “A trick by the devious Don John to cross this marriage convinces Leonato,...

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