Monday, November 14, 2016

Sarah's Annotated Bibliography (1)

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My paper will explore the power of appearance to affect reality in “Much Ado about Nothing,” and possibly “Hamlet.” Appearance has this power because of the way people interpret, or perceive, appearance, and then act on their interpretations, which makes appearance reality.

 Working title: “Appearance making reality in ‘Much Ado about Nothing.’”

Working thesis statement: Although the characters in “Much Ado about Nothing” are eventually able to overcome the deceptions of appearance through love, appearance still makes reality by controlling the actions of the characters throughout the play.
Scholarly Sources: 

1. Dennis, Carl. "Wit and Wisdom in Much Ado about Nothing." SEL: Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900 13.2 (1973): 223-37. Web. 11 Nov, 2016
This article discusses how wit and wisdom may be used to interpret situations and appearances, and how the characters in Much Ado About Nothing use wit and wisdom to interpret appearances in the play, and the problems this causes. This article could be useful in developing my claim because it explores how the way humans interpret appearances give appearances power.  
2. Krieger, Elliot. "Social Relations and the Social Order in 'Much Ado about Nothing'." Shakespeare Survey 32 (1979): 49-61. Print.
This article discusses the effect of social order and relations on appearances, and the effect of appearance on social order and relations in "Much Ado About Nothing." This provides interesting insight into how appearance was given power over the reality of social order.    
3. Lewalski, B. K. "Love, Appearance and Reality: Much Ado about Something." Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900 8.2 (1968): 235-51. Web. 11 Nov, 2016.
 This article discusses the complex nature of perception and reality in the play, and suggests that one can achieve love in a state of true love. This could add an interesting layer to my paper, how love is the way in which one breaks appearances control over reality. 
4. Vincent, Susan J. Dressing the Elite. Ed. Susan Vincent. Berg, Oxford, 2003. Web. 11 Nov, 2016. 
This book explores the power of physical appearance in 16th century England; specifically it discusses the fashions of the age and how they affected and were affected by one's position in society. This book provides interesting historical insights that support my thesis, specifically that there was a law prohibiting lower class citizens from wearing expensive materials. 


1.      Much Ado about Nothing. Dir. Kenneth Branagh. Perf. Kate Bekinsale, Robert Sean Leonard, Denzel Washington, Kenneth Branagh, Emma Thompson, Keanu Reeves. Metro Goldwyn Mayer. 1993. Web. 14 Nov, 2016. <>
This clip shows the moment when Benedict and Beatrice realize they were tricked into falling for each other. It shows the power of the appearance of love to create actually love between them. 
2.       Much Ado about Nothing. Dir. Nick Havinga. Broadway Theatre Archive. 1972. Web. 14 Nov, 2016. <
This adaptation of "Much Ado about Nothing," sets the play in the 1950's. This helps to show how the themes apparent in the play are applicable to any age.  


  1. The article about fashion sounds fascinating, and probably really applicable today as well. I haven't read Much Ado About Nothing, but that appears to be a solid, relevant source. Clothing was soooo important in how audiences perceived and made judgements about characters back then.

  2. Something that I was intrigued by as I read your post was the different levels of appearance. Foe example, there is physical appearance, the appearance of love, and the appearance of people in authority. You use "appearance" to suggest that there is a difference between how things look on the outside and how they actually are. I was a little bit confused because "appearance" can also be used in conjunction to something becoming visible/noticeable/into existence, and I think it would be good to explain exactly what you mean when you use the term "appearance."