Accounting for Appearances
Chapter 3. Much Ado About Nothing
MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING
There’s no great banquet, but some fare ill. OLD ENGLISH PROVERB
The word “nothing” in the title of Much Ado About Nothing by Shakespeare (herein Much Ado or MA) is a euphemism for missing genitals, which we posit is a property of the characters’ genderless, spiritual, subtextual doppelgangers of the sort encountered in other plays of the celestial genre. “Nothing” is also a homophone for “noting,” which can mean noticing or knowing, and can refer to eavesdropping, musical notation, or observation (Bate and Rasmussen MA p.x, 3n; McEachern MA 2; Mares 33; Miola MA 1, 1.1.55n). Concerning these three, “eavesdropping” plays a crucial role in the play’s misunderstandings and clarifications; “notation” refers to the metaphorical Music of the Spheres to which ancient Pythagorean ears were attuned; and “observation” is a key ingredient of the theory of scientific interpretation, which leads to scientia—knowledge. This chapter interprets the light and the dark sides of Much Ado and the different paths to marriage of the play’s two pairs of lovers, which is about knowing properties of the planet Saturn and its double-ringed system, and posits that this knowledge leads to a prediction of the Earth’s ring-plane transit time of remarkable accuracy. Unattributed references in this chapter are to Mares. ← 125 | 126 →
Much Ado opens in Messina, a port in northeast Sicily separated from the Italian mainland by a narrow strait. Present are: the Governor of...
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