Branagh vs. Shakespeare and the Portrayal of Love

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Much Ado About Nothing boasts a wide range of variation among its character relationships and emphasizes the differences and similarities between types of love. As a reader, it is natural to filter the main differences out in one’s brain and classify each character’s relationships and feelings on certain levels. Shakespeare develops definite pieces that register to the subconscious and help the reader combine personal experience, opinion and description into a clear idea of each character’s love and reaction. Kenneth Branagh, in the 1993 film version of Much Ado about Nothing seems to flatten out these unmistakable deviations and portray many situations of love in a far too similar way. The relationships between the main characters of Much Ado about Nothing are much less believable in the movie than in Shakespeare’s original play. When looking at the interactions between Don Pedro and Don John it is clear that something has gone afoul between the two brothers. Don Pedro openly receives his half-brother with forgiveness and understanding after the war they have fought against each other. The film does an excellent job of showing this piece of the play and Don Pedro offers a believable introduction that touches the audience with his genuine mercy. It is communicated well that Don Pedro is a generous and temperate kind of nobleman. Don John is supposed to be in constant conflict with him. We are meant to watch him plot deviant plans for revenge and constantly offer a foul disposition among the happy couples. While the film does show Don John as an antagonist, he is not truly portrayed as the snake-like villain Shakespeare means him to be. While the lack of convincing manipulation and plotting does not necessarily take away from the story line of the film, it does create less of an emphasis on the relationship between the two brothers. Constant offerings of

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