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『헛소동』(Much Ado About Nothing)의 통과의례적 해석
The Interpretation of Much Ado About Nothing in view of the rite of passage

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  • 초록

    Much Ado About Nothing has been regarded as one of Shakespeare"s mature comedies with As You Like It and Twelfth Night. As the mistaken identity in The Comedy of Errors is the main cause of confusion and comic movement, so are the mistaken observations and false reporting in Much Ado About Nothing. Many of the characters in Much Ado About Nothing act not on the right judgement and reasonable thought but on the eavesdropping or indirect message. As the title of this comedy implies, much ado proves to be nothing through nothing, and main characters become mature in action and attitude with the new order established at the end of the play. In this paper, I tried to analyze the actions of the main characters in Much Ado About Nothing by applying the rite of passage of anthropology. The period of separation, transition and incorporation can be traced through the actions of the main characters. I pointed out that main characters go through hardship and misunderstanding because of some defects. The pure and simple Claudio falls in love with Hero without even meeting and speaking with her directly, he believes that Hero is pretty and worthy of loving because her father belongs to high class. His gullibility is the target to which Don John tries to take deception. When Claudio discloses Hero"s impurity to the public at the marriage ceremony, he depends on mistaken hearing and false reporting without direct proof. In this sense, Claudio seems to be very simple, gullible and immature in reason. He should spend some period of time in sadness, anger and repentance because of his defects. The pride of Beatrice and Benedick blocks them from the pure and natural love. Even though they love each other, their love is hidden behind the curtain of sharp and witty war of words. As Hero"s feigned death makes Claudio repent of his simplicity and gullibility, several plans of other people around Beatrice and Benedick make them reach to true love. Even though Don John"s villainy contrasts with the Friar"s deception, villainy also contributes to the change of Claudio"s mind in the transitional period. Beatrice and Benedick also experience the hardship of love because of their pride and outspoken attitude. But this period provides time and opportunities for them to find their true identity. Claudio including other characters becomes mature enough to recognize the difference between appearance and reality, true and direct speaking and false reporting, eavesdropping and true hearing, etc. True identity can be recognized after a long period of transition in which confusion, difficulty, misunderstanding and repentance are working for the better state. Four main lovers are married with the partners while dances and songs highlight the congratulation.


  • 주제어

    rite of passage .   mistaken observations .   wars of wit .   self-recognition.  

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