A classic. "Much Ado" includes all the markings of a classic. Themes ring true despite the passage of time. The characters still feel the same passion, humor, love, and hate that people feel today. I love Shakespeare's comedies. Tragic but filled with such truth that it's hard not to want to finish the play.
I'll begin by admitting my bias. I teach theatre. I'm an actress. I love Shakespeare. There.
Now, that being said, this is my absolute favorite Shakespeare play, if not play, period. The story is simple: Beatrice and Benedick love each other, but are too proud to admit it, so Beatrice's cousin and Benedick's best friend (who also happen to be in love and provide the subplot of the play) trick them into admitting their mutual affection. Along the way, there are twists and turns, with bumbling policemen, evil siblings, misunderstandings (of course!), and the inevitable happy ending.
If you've seen the beautiful Branagh movie, you are well-versed in the sunniness of the play. If you haven't, see it, then read the play. You'll understand the nuances WAY better after seeing the film.
This is a great edition of the play, with the text on one side and explanatory notes on the opposite page. This is especially helpful for beginning Shakespeareans and also serious studiers of the text.
Highly recommended, both for the play and the annotations.
Completely re-edited, the New Folger Library edition of Shakespeare's plays puts readers in touch with current ways of thinking about Shakespeare. Each freshly edited text is based directly on what the editors consider the best early printed version of the play. Each volume contains full explanatory notes on pages facing the text of the play, as well as a helpful introduction to Shakespeare's language. The accounts of William Shakespeare's life, his theater, and the publication of his plays present the latest scholarship, and the annotated reading lists suggested sources of further information. The illustrations of objects, clothing, and mythological figures mentioned in the plays are drawn from the Library's vast holdings of rare books. At the conclusion of each play there is a full essay by an outstanding scholar who assesses the play in the light of today's interests and concerns.