Much Ado About Nothing

When watching the Branagh version of Much Ado About Nothing, I tended to realize
lines had been omitted from the movie. I then got further into the movie and
some of the lines that were ones that foreshadow what had happened in the text.

The purpose of this paper will show that lines left out of the movie were in
some way essential to character development and aided in the movie's plot
confusion. The analysis took several watchings to create a vivid view of what
lines were missing and why. So, as I was watching the movie I marked which lines
were not spoken. This approximated to 1329. Wow! 1329 out of 2712 (give or take
a few lines) were missing. Now I asked myself how is anyone going to get the
full feel for this play, if there is 49% missing. Half an answer would be that
the choices to leave out certain parts were to down play a character's attitude
or behavior. Or I could be way off base, and producers could have wanted to just
save time and money in producing, editing, etc. It is the first choice I would
like to consider. When reviewing the lines left out, the first big chunk is in
act 1 scene 1. Beatrice is describing Bene*censored*, "In our last con-/
flict four of his five wits went halting off, and now/ is the whole man governed
with one;" (1.1,62). Which creates a dynamic that gives you a precursor to
the rest of the play. This precursor being that Beatrice and Bene*censored*
fight constantly, not like old friends, but old foes. The word choice that

Beatrice gives in the opening of this play gives us that overall feeling that
the two just do not see eye to eye. Hence, when they spar for the first time, 60
lines later, Beatrice seems a little more outspoken than is perceived, due to
the omission of the lines. Bene*censored* comes off like a prince trying to
defend himself. The lines make the sense of two friends giving each other a hard
time, but the text gives them a sting. The omitted lines that help characterize
the strength of words are needed for the sting to be apparent, which just lacks
in the movie. The Branagh version showed lots of areas where Bene*censored* was
coming off as doing nothing to spite anyone, which allowed Branagh to make Bene*censored*
a better character than is portrayed in the text. The next major spot in the
text that is omitted from the movie is all of act 1 scene 2. This was an unusual
choice, because this is where Leonato is shown to know that his daughter has a
suitor. The wrong name is given, but still is an edited moment of comedy that
allows a reader to know what is going on in the text, and who knows what and
how. The movie did not let you know that Leonato was indeed aware of a suitor
until he says "Daughter, remember what I told you. If the/ Prince do
solicit you in that kind, you know your/ answer."(2.1,65). When reading the
text, this wrong information about the Prince being the suitor instead of

Claudio being the suitor (the Prince just acting in Claudio's name), is revealed
in the scene that is mentioned earlier. It would help to make the comic nature
of these lines unfold, instead of the confusion that comes about when the movie
has the viewer confused to the textual facts of what is happening. Also it is
the first time that somebody overhears (notes) a conversation and gives out
wrong information, but this is also omitted in the prior mentioned scene.

Consequently when people start to spy, it looks uncommon for the movie, but the
text gives the notions of spying from the start. The next major sets of lines
that are not used in the movie are ones that foreshadow what is to happen in the
rest of the play. Borachio has a set of lines in act2 scene3 that tell all about
having Margaret in a chamber window having sex with Borachio using the name of

Hero. The movie omitting these lines, makes Don John's plot of ruining the
marriage unknown to all until later, but the deed doesn't come into full light
on who was the perpetrator of this scheme till the conviction at the end of the
play. This shows the confusion on who is involved with what. It also does not
give the full picture