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Much Ado About Nothing
Act 5, scene 4

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Characters in the Play

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 4
Enter Leonato, Benedick, Beatrice, Margaret, Ursula,
Leonato’s brother, Friar, Hero.


FRIAR 
 Did I not tell you she was innocent?
LEONATO 
 So are the Prince and Claudio, who accused her
 Upon the error that you heard debated.
 But Margaret was in some fault for this,
5 Although against her will, as it appears
 In the true course of all the question.
LEONATO’S BROTHER 
 Well, I am glad that all things sorts so well.
BENEDICK 
 And so am I, being else by faith enforced
 To call young Claudio to a reckoning for it.
LEONATO 
10 Well, daughter, and you gentlewomen all,
 Withdraw into a chamber by yourselves,
 And when I send for you, come hither masked.
 The Prince and Claudio promised by this hour
 To visit me.—You know your office, brother.
15 You must be father to your brother’s daughter,
 And give her to young Claudio.The ladies exit.

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Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 5. SC. 4

LEONATO’S BROTHER 
 Which I will do with confirmed countenance.
BENEDICK 
 Friar, I must entreat your pains, I think.
FRIAR To do what, signior?
BENEDICK 
20 To bind me, or undo me, one of them.—
 Signior Leonato, truth it is, good signior,
 Your niece regards me with an eye of favor.
LEONATO 
 That eye my daughter lent her; ’tis most true.
BENEDICK 
 And I do with an eye of love requite her.
LEONATO 
25 The sight whereof I think you had from me,
 From Claudio, and the Prince. But what’s your will?
BENEDICK 
 Your answer, sir, is enigmatical.
 But for my will, my will is your goodwill
 May stand with ours, this day to be conjoined
30 In the state of honorable marriage—
 In which, good friar, I shall desire your help.
LEONATO 
 My heart is with your liking.
FRIAR  And my help.
 Here comes the Prince and Claudio.

Enter Prince, and Claudio, and two or three other.

PRINCE 35Good morrow to this fair assembly.
LEONATO 
 Good morrow, prince; good morrow, Claudio.
 We here attend you. Are you yet determined
 Today to marry with my brother’s daughter?
CLAUDIO 
 I’ll hold my mind were she an Ethiope.

191
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 5. SC. 4

LEONATO 
40 Call her forth, brother. Here’s the Friar ready.
Leonato’s brother exits.
PRINCE 
 Good morrow, Benedick. Why, what’s the matter
 That you have such a February face,
 So full of frost, of storm, and cloudiness?
CLAUDIO 
 I think he thinks upon the savage bull.
45 Tush, fear not, man. We’ll tip thy horns with gold,
 And all Europa shall rejoice at thee,
 As once Europa did at lusty Jove
 When he would play the noble beast in love.
BENEDICK 
 Bull Jove, sir, had an amiable low,
50 And some such strange bull leapt your father’s cow
 And got a calf in that same noble feat
 Much like to you, for you have just his bleat.
CLAUDIO 
 For this I owe you. Here comes other reck’nings.

Enter Leonato’s brother, Hero, Beatrice, Margaret,
Ursula, the ladies masked.


 Which is the lady I must seize upon?
LEONATO 
55 This same is she, and I do give you her.
CLAUDIO 
 Why, then, she’s mine.—Sweet, let me see your face.
LEONATO 
 No, that you shall not till you take her hand
 Before this friar and swear to marry her.
CLAUDIO, to Hero 
 Give me your hand before this holy friar.
They take hands.
60 I am your husband, if you like of me.

193
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 5. SC. 4

HERO 
 And when I lived, I was your other wife,
 And when you loved, you were my other husband.
She unmasks.
CLAUDIO 
 Another Hero!
HERO  Nothing certainer.
65 One Hero died defiled, but I do live,
 And surely as I live, I am a maid.
PRINCE 
 The former Hero! Hero that is dead!
LEONATO 
 She died, my lord, but whiles her slander lived.
FRIAR 
 All this amazement can I qualify,
70 When after that the holy rites are ended,
 I’ll tell you largely of fair Hero’s death.
 Meantime let wonder seem familiar,
 And to the chapel let us presently.
BENEDICK 
 Soft and fair, friar.—Which is Beatrice?
BEATRICE, unmasking 
75 I answer to that name. What is your will?
BENEDICK 
 Do not you love me?
BEATRICE  Why no, no more than reason.
BENEDICK 
 Why then, your uncle and the Prince and Claudio
 Have been deceived. They swore you did.
BEATRICE 
80 Do not you love me?
BENEDICK  Troth, no, no more than reason.
BEATRICE 
 Why then, my cousin, Margaret, and Ursula
 Are much deceived, for they did swear you did.

195
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 5. SC. 4

BENEDICK 
 They swore that you were almost sick for me.
BEATRICE 
85 They swore that you were well-nigh dead for me.
BENEDICK 
 ’Tis no such matter. Then you do not love me?
BEATRICE 
 No, truly, but in friendly recompense.
LEONATO 
 Come, cousin, I am sure you love the gentleman.
CLAUDIO 
 And I’ll be sworn upon ’t that he loves her,
90 For here’s a paper written in his hand,
 A halting sonnet of his own pure brain,
 Fashioned to Beatrice.He shows a paper.
HERO  And here’s another,
 Writ in my cousin’s hand, stol’n from her pocket,
95 Containing her affection unto Benedick.
She shows a paper.
BENEDICK A miracle! Here’s our own hands against
 our hearts. Come, I will have thee, but by this light
 I take thee for pity.
BEATRICE I would not deny you, but by this good day, I
100 yield upon great persuasion, and partly to save your
 life, for I was told you were in a consumption.
BENEDICK Peace! I will stop your mouth.
They kiss.
PRINCE 
 How dost thou, Benedick, the married man?
BENEDICK I’ll tell thee what, prince: a college of
105 wit-crackers cannot flout me out of my humor.
 Dost thou think I care for a satire or an epigram?
 No. If a man will be beaten with brains, he shall
 wear nothing handsome about him. In brief, since I
 do purpose to marry, I will think nothing to any
110 purpose that the world can say against it, and

197
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 5. SC. 4

 therefore never flout at me for what I have said
 against it. For man is a giddy thing, and this is my
 conclusion.—For thy part, Claudio, I did think to
 have beaten thee, but in that thou art like to be my
115 kinsman, live unbruised, and love my cousin.
CLAUDIO I had well hoped thou wouldst have denied
 Beatrice, that I might have cudgeled thee out of thy
 single life, to make thee a double-dealer, which out
 of question thou wilt be, if my cousin do not look
120 exceeding narrowly to thee.
BENEDICK Come, come, we are friends. Let’s have a
 dance ere we are married, that we may lighten our
 own hearts and our wives’ heels.
LEONATO We’ll have dancing afterward.
BENEDICK 125First, of my word! Therefore play, music.—
 Prince, thou art sad. Get thee a wife, get thee a wife.
 There is no staff more reverend than one tipped
 with horn.

Enter Messenger.

MESSENGER, to Prince 
 My lord, your brother John is ta’en in flight,
130 And brought with armed men back to Messina.
BENEDICK, to Prince Think not on him till tomorrow.
 I’ll devise thee brave punishments for him.—Strike
 up, pipers!Music plays. They dance.
They exit.