How do you resolve the misogyny in Much Ado About Nothing? On one hand, you have Beatrice, contemporary with her independent wit and contempt of courtship rituals; a strong, comic female character Shakespeare may have created given she has no analogue in the Bard’s sources for the play.

But then there is tragic Hero, whose marriage to Claudio is sabotaged by scheming men. She is attacked as a whore at the altar and deemed therefore unworthy of marriage. Thus, amid...

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