notes for All's fair in love and war
The atmosphere is frothy and insistently social, almost inebriated, drunk on wordplay. The first three acts are dominated by a house party on a lavish estate, a wild masquerade poised precipitously on the verge of spinning out of control.
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The action, unfolding between military expeditions, is imbued with the rambunctious feeling of soldiers who hit the town on shore leave. Shakespeare surprises us, however, with the unexpectedly sober and mature events that transpire roughly halfway through the play. The characters wake up from their lubricated nights of revelry to a new morning that shines a harsh light on their world and relations in it.
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In a miracle of Shakespearean characterization, the characters themselves seem surprised by their sober responsibilities, their newfound maturity and depth. The play begins with Don Pedro, the Prince, arriving at the estate of Leonato, the Governor of Messina, after winning a nearby military campaign.
Pedro is accompanied by the glowering Don John, his rebellious, illegitimate brother; Claudio, a valiant young nobleman; and Benedick, a confirmed bachelor. The sound of their conversational witticisms is intensely familiar, the prototype for every romantic couple that works their way from hatred to love, from Elizabeth Bennet and Mr.
The lack of modern-day Benedicks is a subject for another time. Marry, once before he won it of me with false dice; therefore your Grace may well say I have lost it. It is as close as Shakespeare comes to showing modern romantic life, the rituals of courtship and dating between single people. Shockingly, Beatrice and Benedick are the only couple in all of Shakespearean comedy who have a shared history. They are his only portrait of love at third, fourth or even fifth sight.
ALL'S FAIR IN LOVE AND WAR | meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary
Not coincidentally, they also seem like his couple with the best chance at happiness after the play ends. Kokemuller is an authorized substitute teacher and holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Iowa. The database based on Word Net is a lexical database for the English Language.
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