If you would like a modernised, completely understandable, fully hyperlinked, illustrated e-text version of ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ that keeps all of Shakespeare’s original rhythm and rhyme scheme then click on the ORDERING section ABOVE.

Here are a few examples of the reworking:

Beat.         Just the same as if he does not send me a husband; for which blessing I am on my knees to him every morning and evening. Lord, I could not endure a husband with a beard – I would rather lie in scratchy woollen blankets without smooth sheets.


Leon.         You may alight on a husband who does not have a beard.


Beat.         And what should I do with him? Dress him in my clothes and make him my lady-in-waiting? He who has a beard is more than a youth, and he who has no beard is less than a man – he who is more than a youth is not for me, and he who is less than a man, well, I am not for him – therefore, I will provide sixpence1 in advance payment for the ferryman, and lead his damned souls into hell.


Hero.         Oh, god of love! I know that he deserves
As much as may be yielded to a man –
But nature never made a woman’s heart
Of prouder stuff than that of Beatrice;
Disdain and scorn ride sparkling in her eyes,
Discounting what they look at, and her wit
Values itself so highly that to her
All other things seem weak – she cannot love,
Nor grasp the forms nor concepts of affection,
She is so self-endeared.

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