Our Cast

Shakespeare’s has a created a comedic and varied cast for Much Ado About Nothing. Read these sections of the play to learn more about their character: Pedro – 1.1.186 -302; 2.1; 2.3, 3.2 John – 1.1.139; 1.3.23-60; 2.1.1 – Claudio – 1.1.148; 2.1; 4.1 Bea – Ben – 1.1.148; 2.3 Use this documentto collect thoughts on the personalities of Shakespeare’s characters.

Mask Task

During the Elizabethan era, “masks” (masquerade parties) were a favorite form of entertainment. In Act Two, Scene One of Much Ado About Nothing, Leonato throws a masquerade party in celebration of the soldiers’ return. Your task is to design a mask for one of the characters in the play. Your mask must somehow symbolically reflect the character’s personality. Think about the following:

  •  Masks are often used to emphasize or highlight something about a character
  • Directors of Shakespearean drama often choose to set a play in a different era. You can do this as long as your design makes sense and reflects the character well
  • The features of a mask should be view able and understandable from an audience’s perspective
  • Some masks will reflect two different sides to a characters personality.

Your mask design must be accompanied by a rationale. It should explain why you chose the character you chose, what your design reflects about that character, and at least two quotes from the play that justify your interpretation of the character. It should follow all rules of formal writing.

  •  You will present your mask design and rationale to the class.
  • Your mask and rationale will be assessed against criterion A.
You have already seen an example of the process for creating your mask. Here is the result:
Once you have decided upon your key personality traits, you will need to think about appropriate symbols to represent these traits. You can brainstorm by yourself and ask your peers. This symbol glossary might also be of use.


When writing your rationale, follow these guidelines.

  1.  Characteristic or personality trait
  2. Quote
  3. How you have represented an idea. Symbols.

In Much Ado About Nothing, the character Beatrice is shown as being witty. This is evident in act 2, scene 1, line 126-132 (1.1.126-132) where she says, “Why he is the prince’s jester a very dull fool only / his gift is in devising impossible slanders. None but / libertines delight in him, and the commendation is / not in his wit but in his villainy for he both pleases / and angers him”. I have chosen to show this characteristic on my mask using a tongue that looks like a knife. This is because…

Points to consider:

  • Note how to reference the line numbers when citing.
  • Note how we show line breaks when quoting (using the “/” – the question mark key)
  • You might need to use several paragraphs.

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