Unit 2:Much Ado

                          LET'S HAVE A LAUGH....


Aristotle: “No animal but man ever laughs’

Big Questions:

  • What makes us laugh and why?
  • When were the first ever comedies?
  • How has the comedy genre evolved?
  • What are the key features of a Shakespearean Comedy?
  • What are the differences between Comedy and Tragedy?

Some statements to get you thinking…

  • What provokes laughter is often ridiculous and excessive
  • Slapstick is the funniest sort of humour
  • It is wrong to laugh at someone else’s expense
  • Comedy is less prestigious than other genres
  • Comedy is just about making people laugh
  • Comedy is often more controversial than other genres

Some useful notes on the evolution of comedy


Resources used in lesson:

Comedy 1

Home Learning:

Watch the following introduction to ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ 

                            SESSION TWO
                        INTRODUCING MUCH ADO...

Learning Goals:

-To understand the structure of a Shakespearean comedy
-To recognise the key features of a Shakespearean comedy
-To begin to explore some of the themes of Much Ado

Big Questions:

-To what extent can Much Ado be classified a comedy-are there any problems with this?
-What are some of the differences between how an Eizabethan audience would view the play and a modern audience?
-Was Shakespearean comedy conservative or transgressive?


Much Ado 2




                           SESSION THREE
                          "The Merry War"

Learning Goals:

-How does Shakespeare establish character and setting in Act One Scene One?
-How does Shakespeare create humour in Act One Scene One?

Just for fun: Manga Shakespeare!


Screen Shot 2014-09-21 at 19.59.40


MAN session 3

Commentary on Act One Scene One:


Notes on Language:




More Challenging…


                          SESSION FOUR
                     DISGUISE AND DECEPTION

Learning Goals

-To explore the dramatic function of disguise and deception in Act Two
-To identify how Shakespeare uses dramatic techniques to create comedy in the ‘gulling scenes’




Much Ado Leics

Much Ado Session 4


Home Learning

Re-read Act 3 and make sure you are familiar with plot, characters and themes

                             SESSION FIVE
                           IT MUST BE LOVE....

Learning Goals 

-To explore Shakespeare’s treatment of love in Much Ado About Nothing
-To articulate an informed personal response to the text based on evidence
-To comment in detail on the effect of a writer’s choice of language


Presentation 5

P9 I would rather hear a dog bark at a crow than a man swear he loves me

Home Learning

Write two more PEAR paragraphs in response to the following statement:

“ Much Ado About Nothing is Shakespeare’s severest criticism to date of the weakness lying in romantic love”

Donald Stauffer

                               SESSION 6
                            Comedy or tragedy?

Much Ado About Nothing throws down a challenge to the audience with its very title. What is this play? A comedy that is not always funny? A tragedy with a happy ending? 

session 5

Further Reading

Comedy or tragedy?

Roland L Martin


Home Learning

Re-read Act 5

One of the key features of a comedy is that it has a happy ending. To what extent do you find the ending satisfactory?

Make one page of notes-with at least 6 quotations to back up your ideas.

You should also do some research on what other critics have said about the ending-but make sure that you site them

Be prepared to debate your ideas!

                             SESSION SEVEN
                           Happy ever after...?

Many critics have stated they do not find the ending of Much Ado About Nothing satisfactory. To what extent do you agree?


Happy Ending


A very comprehensive study pack with lots of secondary criticism!


Home Learning

Make sure your coursework plan is complete for Monday 3rd Nov

coursework questions (1)

1. LITB 2&4 stand booklet (1)

                           SESSION EIGHT
                         Writing with power 

Learning Goals 

-To know and understand the way your work will be assessed
-To learn how to make an effective plan
-To write a thesis statement

Being the examiner

Use the criteria to mark the following essays. What grade would you give them and why?

Essay 1

Essay 2

Making a plan

Look at essay 2. Using the framework below to help you, write the plan that the student would have made


In a nutshell!

Summarise your argument in a sentence

Writing with power

Tips and Resources



how to use quotations


Screen Shot 2014-11-02 at 16.24.24

                                SESSION NINE
                              Writing With Power


Writing with power

Cringe words

CW rubric


  • I clearly address the question in my introduction and define the key terms
  • I end my introduction with a thesis statement
  • I comment clearly on the structure of the play and relate this to what I know about the comedy genre
  • I evaluate different interpretations of the text and consider how context effects these interpretations
  • I evaluate to what extent the text fits the ‘comedy genre’
  • I use literary terms throughout my essay
  • My sentences are analytical not descriptive
  • I comment in detail on language and dramatic devices
  • I remember that it is a play with an audience-I refer to staging and performances (perhaps differences in performances)
  • All my paragraphs begin with clear topic sentences that develop my argument integrate quotations fluently and accurately
  • I integrate quotations fluently and accurately
  • I comment in detail on language and dramatic devices
  • I do not exceed the 1500 word limit
  • I make sure that I cite my secondary quotations using footnotes at the end of my essay
                          SESSION TEN
                     Feedback and improvements

Learning Goals

-To evaluate my essay against the success criteria and identify how I can improve it

Screen Shot 2014-11-16 at 17.28.13

Year 12 checklist

R & J word bank


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