Shakespeare Society: Much Ado About Nothing

West End Library

Shakespeare Society: Much Ado About Nothing

In a catchy dance track that has continuously blessed pop radio airwaves since 1993, Trinidadian-German artist Haddaway wonders: "What is love?"

This is doubtless a pressing question that has preoccupied not only Presocratic philosophers but early 90s hedonistic revelers hellbent on Bacchanalian surrender at Tunnel. Yet, for me, the more interesting part has always been Haddaway's baritone-soaked rejoinder: "Baby, don't hurt me." And, indeed, it is Benedick who says in Act 5.2:

Suffer love! a good epithet! I do suffer love
indeed, for I love thee against my will.

Should romantic love be a cause of suffering? I certainly hope not.  But Much Ado About Nothing, October's selection for the Shakespeare Society, certainly takes pains to make it seem so. Ten participants gathered virtually at 6:30 PM on the 19th to discuss in what ways this play grapples with how insults, busybodies, and thwarted willpower intersect with romantic love. In this particular Shakespearean world, romance is perhaps rife with pain, unsavory quidnuncs, and other obstructions hostile to happy unions. Be it in the form of insults or trickery, treachery and dishonor, the charactersand their willpowerare put to the test in their attempts to secure a worthy partner. But, like life itself, sometimes thingseven with something as mysterious as lovehave a way of working out.

Learn more about the Shakespeare Society here.

-- My Nguyen