Facts in Much Ado About Nothing

Facts Examples in Much Ado About Nothing:

"Where is but a humour or a worm.(25)..."   (Act III - Scene II)

During Shakespeare’s time, illnesses were thought to be caused by fluids or parasites. According to Humorism, a system of medicine considered to have been developed by the ancient Greeks, there were four different “humour[s]” (bodily fluids) that determined a person’s temperament and physical health: blood, yellow bile, black bile, and phlegm. It was believed that an imbalance of these humours would result in illness. Being in love (especially unrequited love) was thought to produce an overabundance of black bile, which was associated with melancholy.

"‘Light o’ love.'..."   (Act III - Scene IV)

“Light o’ love” is the name of an old dance tune. During Shakespeare’s time, “Light o’ love” was also used as an expression for the inconstant nature of love, or specifically as a noun to describe a woman who was fickle with love.

"Friar..."   (Act IV - Scene I)

A friar is a member of any certain religious orders, especially the four mendicant orders: the Augustinians, Dominicans, Franciscans, and Carmelites.

"we have bucklers of our own...."   (Act V - Scene II)

A buckler was a small fencing shield that consisted of a round piece of wood with a small raised circle of iron. It was meant to catch the tip of one’s opponent’s sword. Beatrice uses this reference to make a bawdy joke that refers to female genitalia.

"I give thee the bucklers...."   (Act V - Scene II)

This is a saying that comes from fencing, meaning “I give up” or “I yield.” Bucklers were small round shields used for protection against a fencing sword.

"Will you then write me a sonnet in praise of my beauty?..."   (Act V - Scene II)

The Elizabethan sonnet tradition evolved out of Petrarch's Italian sonnet. These were 14-line poems written in iambic pentameter in which a speaker would talk about her desire for an unattainable love object. Sonnet sequences, a collection of 150 sonnets that slowly told an unrequited love story, became popular in the 1580s with Philip Sidney’s Astrophil and Stella. However, because of this popularity, many imitation writers were drawn to the form. This changed the popular opinion of sonnets as a high form of literature to something more common and formulaic, much like some modern day pop songs.