Thursday, March 11, 2010

8th Grade Gabe: Much Ado About Extra Credit

Gabe Llanas
Mrs. Duda
8th Grade English
March 11, 1992
Extra Credit Play Review

Much Ado About Nothing

The Racine Theater Guild's performance of William Shakespeare's Much Ado about Nothing was a fine performance indeed. It bore all the hallmarks of excellent and educational theater and was very funny also. In this extra credit essay, that I was asked to write to make up for the C that I was unjustly given because of the analysis of a very short poem that I did in class, which was every bit as good and meaningful as Mike Matteucci's analysis of "Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me Too," I will talk about my thesis of the play in some supporting paragraphs, and then a conclusion.
The play is a very good play. In it some soldiers come home from war and Leonato throws them a big party. Benedick and Beatrice argue with each other. They are very smart and witty. But it was hard to understand what they were talking about. Then after a few minutes, it was like someone dropped a babelfish in my ear, and I was able to understand the language of the Bard.
Benedick's friend Count Claudio falls in love with a girl named Hero and wants to marry her, but he's a chicken. So Don Pedro makes a very smart plan to wear a disguise and talk to Hero for Claudio and woe her for him. The plan works even though Don Pedro's wicked brother, the evil Don John the Bastard, tries to make mischief on everyone. Then everyone tricks Beatrice and Benedick to fall in love with each other, which was obvious that that was going to happen, because Benedick talks about women at the beginning of the play: "I will live a bachelor" (1:1) which is obviously foreshadowing that he will eventually get married. But then Don John tricks Claudio into thinking that Hero had intercourse with another guy so he doesn't want to marry her. And the friar comes up with a great plan to pretend that she died of grief, and after she is fake dead they find out everything was a lie.
Most of the people feel bad, Benedick and Beatrice really do fall in love, and then everyone gets married and is happy. As you can see there are a lot of plot things that happen throughout this play, which make it very good.
My brother, Ian, told me that if I was going to go to a play that I should ask a girl if she would like to go to the play with me, because girls like culture and arts. So I called seven girls. Nicole said no, Jenny had a basketball game. Marian had a basketball game too, Laura wasn't allowed to go on dates (even though I told her we would just be going as friends), Jessica thought I said Dave when I called, so she thought I was Dave Ruffalo and I was really confused because apparently she and Dave Ruffalo went out for five days last year and then he kissed Erika in a game of spin the bottle and they broke up and I never kissed Erika or even played spin the bottle, so it was really confusing. Michelle said she was going to her grandma's, and when I asked her how come she wasn't going to the basketball game, she said they didn't have a basketball game that night, which was curious. Finally, I went next door and asked Molly if she wanted to go and she wasn't home, so I asked her mom, and her mom said yes, Molly would go to the play with me.
I wore a tie and some slacks and my grandpa's Navy trenchcoat, and Molly wore a nice coat and a plaid dress that sort of looked like our school uniform, but wasn't. My sister Katie made me buy her flowers, which cost 4.99. I did not want to buy flowers because new comics come out on Tuesday and the new X-Factor has part 5 of the X-tinction Agenda and I have to buy two copies of it.
My palms were very sweaty and all Molly and I talked about was Weird Al Yankovich. She thinks he's dumb and I disagree. I thought taking a girl to the play was a bad idea. But then the play started and it was pretty good. especially the part with Dogberry the police officer who kept telling everyone to remember that he had been called an "ass."
My mom picked us up after the play, and I let Molly ride in the front seat and I sat in the back next to Cassie's car seat. I don't think it was a date because we didn't hold hands or kiss or hug goodnight and plus I don't even like Molly except as a friend.
Now I will talk about Benedick. He changed during the play from thinking he would never get married, to falling in love with Beatrice and getting married to her. He says something at the end of the play:

In brief, since I do purpose to marry, I will think nothing to any purpose that the world can say against it, and therefore never flout at me for what I have said against it; for man is a giddy thing, and this is my conclusion. (5:4)

The footnote says giddy means changeable. Man is a changeable thing. Which means that people can change. I don't know that I ever want to change. I kind of like things like they are now. School is very easy and summer vacation is fun. I'm afraid about going to high school next year. I don't know if people will be all grown up. I don't want to have to ask girls to dances or go to parties where people are drinking alcohol. I like to be friends with the kids in the neighborhood, who are mostly younger than me. We play Nintendo and Ghost in the Graveyard, and it's sad to think that you won't always have the same friends.
Mrs. Duda, you gave me a C when I did my poem analysis in class, which was by Robert Frost and was called "Precaution" and went like this:

I never dared be radical when young, for fear it would make me conservative when old.

You said it wasn't long enough, but I think it's deep enough. I think no matter what we start out as when we're young, we're going to go out there and live and be some different thing. In science when we studied cells, we learned that all of the cells in our body are regenerated every seven years. So in seven years not a single part of me will be the same as it is now. And then in seven years after that, I'll be all new again. Even cooler than that, I read in some book about the police that people's memories aren't even real memories. You recreate your memories every time you think about them. So the more you think about something the more and more imaginary it becomes. because you keep changing it a little bit every time you remember it. So not only are you a different person with different cells in the future, but your memories are different too.
Benedick was right, man is a giddy thing. It doesn't take long to be totally changeable and totally different than what you were before. And I think this is how you know that William Shakespeare was very wise when he wrote Much Ado About Nothing. Because Benedick says something deep like that, but also you get to laugh at Dogberry, when he talks about everyone remembering to write down that he was called "an ass."

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