Much Ado About Nothing

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

BENEDICK enters.
Enter BOY
A BOY enters.
Yes Signior?
In my chamber window lies a book. Bring it hither to me in
the orchard.
In my bedroom window there is a book. Go get it and bring it to me here in the orchard.
5I am here already, sir.
I’m already here, sir.
I know that, but I would have thee hence and here again.
I see that you are here, but I’d like you to go there and then come back again.

The boy means, “It\’s as good as done,” but Benedick plays as if he takes the boy literally.

Exit BOY
The BOY exits.
I do much wonder that one man, seeing how much another
man is a fool when he dedicates his behaviors to love, will,
after he hath laughed at such shallow follies in others,
10become the argument of his own scorn by falling in love—
and such a man is Claudio. I have known when there was no
music with him but the drum and the fife, and now had he
rather hear the tabor and the pipe. I have known when he
would have walked ten mile afoot to see a good armor, and
15now will he lie ten nights awake carving the fashion of a new
doublet. He was wont to speak plain and to the purpose,
like an honest man and a soldier, and now is he turned
orthography; his words are a very fantastical banquet, just
so many strange dishes. May I be so converted and see with
20these eyes? I cannot tell; I think not.
I’m amazed that a man, after watching romance turn another man into a fool and laughing at that man, can turn right around and become the thing he’s scorned. That’s the kind of man Claudio is. I knew him when he listened to nothing but the military drum and fife; now he would rather hear the sweet and refined music of the tabor and pipe. I knew him when he would’ve walked ten miles to see a well-crafted suit of armor; now he spends ten nights awake in his room designing himself a fancy new jacket. He used to speak plainly and to the point, like an honorable man and soldier; now his speech is elaborate and flowery. His words are like a miraculous banquet, full of strange new dishes. Will I be changed like that, and see the world through a lover’s eyes? I’m not sure, but I don’t think so.