Much Ado About Nothing - Much Ado About Nothing Characters...

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Much Ado About Nothing Characters Don Pedro: Prince of Aragon, friend of Leonato Don John: Don Pedro’s bastard brother, plots to ruin Claudio and Hero’s relationship Claudio: young lord of Florence, soldier for Don Pedro, falls in love with Hero Benedick: young lord of Padua, soldier for Don Pedro Leonato: elder of Messina, Governor of Messina, Hero’s father Antonio: Leonato’s brother Balthasar: waiting man of Don Pedro, tricks Benedick into falling in love with Beatrice Conrad: totally devoted to Don Pedro Borachio: lover of Margaret, aids in attempt to ruin Claudio and Hero’s relationship Dogberry: Chief policeman Verges: deputy to Dogberry Hero: Leonato’s daughter, falls in love with Claudio Beatrice: Leonato’s niece Margaret: Hero’s serving woman, aids in attempt to ruin Claudio and Hero’s relationship Ursula: attends to Hero Act I [A]nd in such great letters as they write “Here is good horse to hire” let them signify under my sign “Here you may see Benedick, the married man.” Summary: Scene i In the Italian town of Messina, the wealthy and kindly Leonato prepares to welcome home some soldier friends who are returning from a battle. These friends include Don Pedro of Aragon, a highly respected nobleman, and a brave young soldier named Claudio , who has won much honor in the fighting. Leonato’s young daughter, Hero , and her cousin, Beatrice , accompany him. Beatrice asks about the health of another soldier in Don Pedro’s army, a man named Signor Benedick . Beatrice cleverly mocks and insults Benedick. A messenger from Don Pedro defends Benedick as an honorable and virtuous man, but Leonato explains that Beatrice and Benedick carry on a “merry war” of wits with one another, trading jibes whenever they meet. Beatrice confirms this statement, noting that in their most recent conflict, “four of his five wits went halting off, and now is the whole man governed with one” (I.i.52–54). Don Pedro arrives at Leonato’s house with his two friends, Claudio and Benedick, and they are joyfully welcomed. Also accompanying Don Pedro is his quiet, sullen, illegitimate brother, Don John “the Bastard,” with whom Don Pedro has recently become friendly after a period of mutual hostility. While Leonato and Don Pedro have a private talk, Beatrice and Benedick take up their war of wits. In an extremely fast-paced exchange of barbs, they insult one another’s looks, intelligence, and personality. When Benedick tells Beatrice proudly that he has never loved a woman and never will, Beatrice responds that women everywhere ought to rejoice. Don Pedro tells Benedick, Claudio, and Don John that Leonato has invited them all to stay with him for a month, and that Don Pedro has accepted. Everyone goes off together except Claudio and Benedick. Claudio shyly asks Benedick what he thinks of Hero, announcing that he has fallen in love with her. Benedick jokingly plays down Hero’s beauty, teasing Claudio for
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thinking about becoming a tame husband. But when Don Pedro returns to look for his friends,
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This note was uploaded on 03/10/2008 for the course ENGL 129H taught by Professor Knoppers,laura during the Spring '07 term at Pennsylvania State University, University Park.

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Much Ado About Nothing - Much Ado About Nothing Characters...

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