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Much Ado About Nothing
Act 3, scene 2

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Entire Play

The primary plot of Much Ado About Nothing turns on the courtship and scandal involving young Hero and her suitor, Claudio, but…

Act 1, scene 1

The army of Don Pedro of Aragon arrives in Messina and is welcomed by Leonato, Messina’s governor. Benedick of Padua,…

Act 1, scene 2

Leonato is given a garbled account of the conversation between Don Pedro and Claudio, and is led to believe that…

Act 1, scene 3

Don John, Don Pedro’s brother, receives a true account of Don Pedro’s plan to woo Hero for Claudio. Resentful of…

Act 2, scene 1

Don Pedro and his soldiers, disguised in masks, dance with the ladies of Leonato’s household. While Don Pedro woos Hero,…

Act 2, scene 2

Don John and his henchman Borachio agree on a plan to disrupt the coming marriage: Borachio will convince Claudio that…

Act 2, scene 3

Leonato, Claudio, and Don Pedro stage a conversation for Benedick to overhear. They talk about Beatrice’s desperate love for Benedick,…

Act 3, scene 1

Beatrice is lured into overhearing a staged conversation between Hero and Ursula, a waiting gentlewoman, who talk about Benedick’s desperate…

Act 3, scene 2

Benedick appears with his beard shaved off and showing other signs of having fallen in love. When he exits with…

Act 3, scene 3

That night, Messina’s master constable, Dogberry, and his assistant, Verges, set the night watch, telling the watchmen to pay particular…

Act 3, scene 4

Early the next morning, Hero prepares for the wedding. Beatrice enters, suffering, she says, from a bad cold, but Hero…

Act 3, scene 5

Dogberry and Verges try to tell Leonato about the arrest of Borachio and Conrade, but they are so unintelligible that…

Act 4, scene 1

At the wedding, Claudio publicly denounces Hero as a lewd woman. He is supported in his story by Don Pedro…

Act 4, scene 2

Dogberry ineptly questions Borachio and Conrade about the deception of Claudio and Don Pedro. The Sexton has Borachio and Conrade…

Act 5, scene 1

Leonato and his brother tell Claudio and Don Pedro of Hero’s death, and attempt to challenge them to a duel….

Act 5, scene 2

Benedick tells Beatrice that he has challenged Claudio. They are summoned to Leonato’s house with the news that Hero’s innocence…

Act 5, scene 3

Claudio appears at Leonato’s family tomb, has a song sung for Hero, and hangs a scroll on the tomb.

Act 5, scene 4

Claudio and Don Pedro appear for the second wedding. The women enter masked. When Claudio takes the hand of Leonato’s…

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Scene 2
Enter Prince, Claudio, Benedick, and Leonato.

PRINCE I do but stay till your marriage be consummate,
 and then go I toward Aragon.
CLAUDIO I’ll bring you thither, my lord, if you’ll vouchsafe
 me.
PRINCE 5Nay, that would be as great a soil in the new
 gloss of your marriage as to show a child his new
 coat and forbid him to wear it. I will only be bold
 with Benedick for his company, for from the crown
 of his head to the sole of his foot he is all mirth. He

93
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 3. SC. 2

10 hath twice or thrice cut Cupid’s bowstring, and the
 little hangman dare not shoot at him. He hath a
 heart as sound as a bell, and his tongue is the
 clapper, for what his heart thinks, his tongue
 speaks.
BENEDICK 15Gallants, I am not as I have been.
LEONATO So say I. Methinks you are sadder.
CLAUDIO I hope he be in love.
PRINCE Hang him, truant! There’s no true drop of
 blood in him to be truly touched with love. If he be
20 sad, he wants money.
BENEDICK I have the toothache.
PRINCE Draw it.
BENEDICK Hang it!
CLAUDIO You must hang it first, and draw it afterwards.
PRINCE 25What, sigh for the toothache?
LEONATO Where is but a humor or a worm.
BENEDICK Well, everyone can master a grief but he
 that has it.
CLAUDIO Yet say I, he is in love.
PRINCE 30There is no appearance of fancy in him, unless
 it be a fancy that he hath to strange disguises, as to
 be a Dutchman today, a Frenchman tomorrow, or
 in the shape of two countries at once, as a German
 from the waist downward, all slops, and a Spaniard
35 from the hip upward, no doublet. Unless he have a
 fancy to this foolery, as it appears he hath, he is no
 fool for fancy, as you would have it appear he is.
CLAUDIO If he be not in love with some woman, there
 is no believing old signs. He brushes his hat o’
40 mornings. What should that bode?
PRINCE Hath any man seen him at the barber’s?
CLAUDIO No, but the barber’s man hath been seen
 with him, and the old ornament of his cheek hath
 already stuffed tennis balls.

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Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 3. SC. 2

LEONATO 45Indeed he looks younger than he did, by the
 loss of a beard.
PRINCE Nay, he rubs himself with civet. Can you smell
 him out by that?
CLAUDIO That’s as much as to say, the sweet youth’s in
50 love.
PRINCE The greatest note of it is his melancholy.
CLAUDIO And when was he wont to wash his face?
PRINCE Yea, or to paint himself? For the which I hear
 what they say of him.
CLAUDIO 55Nay, but his jesting spirit, which is now crept
 into a lute string and now governed by stops—
PRINCE Indeed, that tells a heavy tale for him. Conclude,
 conclude, he is in love.
CLAUDIO Nay, but I know who loves him.
PRINCE 60That would I know, too. I warrant, one that
 knows him not.
CLAUDIO Yes, and his ill conditions; and, in despite of
 all, dies for him.
PRINCE She shall be buried with her face upwards.
BENEDICK 65Yet is this no charm for the toothache.—
 Old signior, walk aside with me. I have studied eight
 or nine wise words to speak to you, which these
 hobby-horses must not hear.
Benedick and Leonato exit.
PRINCE For my life, to break with him about Beatrice!
CLAUDIO 70’Tis even so. Hero and Margaret have by this
 played their parts with Beatrice, and then the two
 bears will not bite one another when they meet.

Enter John the Bastard.

DON JOHN My lord and brother, God save you.
PRINCE Good e’en, brother.
DON JOHN 75If your leisure served, I would speak with
 you.
PRINCE In private?

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Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 3. SC. 2

DON JOHN If it please you. Yet Count Claudio may
 hear, for what I would speak of concerns him.
PRINCE 80What’s the matter?
DON JOHN, to Claudio Means your Lordship to be
 married tomorrow?
PRINCE You know he does.
DON JOHN I know not that, when he knows what I
85 know.
CLAUDIO If there be any impediment, I pray you discover
 it.
DON JOHN You may think I love you not. Let that
 appear hereafter, and aim better at me by that I
90 now will manifest. For my brother, I think he holds
 you well, and in dearness of heart hath holp to effect
 your ensuing marriage—surely suit ill spent and
 labor ill bestowed.
PRINCE Why, what’s the matter?
DON JOHN 95I came hither to tell you; and, circumstances
 shortened, for she has been too long
 a-talking of, the lady is disloyal.
CLAUDIO Who, Hero?
DON JOHN Even she: Leonato’s Hero, your Hero, every
100 man’s Hero.
CLAUDIO Disloyal?
DON JOHN The word is too good to paint out her
 wickedness. I could say she were worse. Think you
 of a worse title, and I will fit her to it. Wonder not
105 till further warrant. Go but with me tonight, you
 shall see her chamber window entered, even the
 night before her wedding day. If you love her then,
 tomorrow wed her. But it would better fit your
 honor to change your mind.
CLAUDIO, to Prince 110May this be so?
PRINCE I will not think it.
DON JOHN If you dare not trust that you see, confess
 not that you know. If you will follow me, I will

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Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 3. SC. 3

 show you enough, and when you have seen more
115 and heard more, proceed accordingly.
CLAUDIO If I see anything tonight why I should not
 marry her, tomorrow in the congregation, where I
 should wed, there will I shame her.
PRINCE And as I wooed for thee to obtain her, I will
120 join with thee to disgrace her.
DON JOHN I will disparage her no farther till you are
 my witnesses. Bear it coldly but till midnight, and
 let the issue show itself.
PRINCE O day untowardly turned!
CLAUDIO 125O mischief strangely thwarting!
DON JOHN O plague right well prevented! So will you
 say when you have seen the sequel.
They exit.