Sparkling with the witty dialogue between Beatrice and Benedicts, Much Ado About Nothing is one of Shakespeare's most enjoyable and theatrically successful comedies. This edition offers a newly edited text and an exceptionally helpful and critically aware introduction. Paying particular attention to analysis of the play's minor characters, Sheldon P Zitner discusses Shakespeare's transformation of his source material. He rethinks the attitudes to gender relations that underlie the comedy and determine its view of marriage. Allowing for the play's openness to reinterpretation by successive generations of readers and performers, Zitner provides a socially analytic stage history, advancing new views for the actor as much as for the critic.