Course Hero Logo

Much Ado About Nothing | Study Guide

William Shakespeare

Get the eBook on Amazon to study offline.

Buy on Amazon Study Guide
Cite This Study Guide

How to Cite This Study Guide

quotation mark graphic


Course Hero. "Much Ado About Nothing Study Guide." Course Hero. 2 Dec. 2016. Web. 29 May 2023. <>.

In text

(Course Hero)



Course Hero. (2016, December 2). Much Ado About Nothing Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved May 29, 2023, from

In text

(Course Hero, 2016)



Course Hero. "Much Ado About Nothing Study Guide." December 2, 2016. Accessed May 29, 2023.


Course Hero, "Much Ado About Nothing Study Guide," December 2, 2016, accessed May 29, 2023,

Much Ado About Nothing | Quotes


Shall I never see a bachelor of threescore again?

Benedick, Act 1, Scene 1

Benedick is dismayed by Claudio's rash decision to marry Hero. For someone who does not believe in marriage, it's hard for Benedick to understand why one of his closest friends is suddenly obsessed with it.


It must not be denied but I am a plain-dealing villain.

Don John, Act 1, Scene 3

Shakespeare isn't going for subtlety in Much Ado About Nothing. Don John literally proclaims himself a villain in his first major scene. This lets the audience know there isn't anything more to his character than the desire to create chaos.


We are the only love gods.

Don Pedro, Act 2, Scene 1

Don Pedro believes he's something of an expert in love and feels he and his friends can make better matches than Cupid. Don Pedro's self-importance on this topic is in direct contrast to his unmarried status throughout the play.


Bait the hook well; this fish will bite.

Claudio, Act 2, Scene 3

Claudio is encouraging Leonato's made-up story about how Beatrice is desperately in love with Benedick, who is listening on the other side of the hedge. If the story is good enough, Benedick will believe it.


A man loves the meat in his youth that he cannot endure in his age.

Benedick, Act 2, Scene 3

In a conversation with himself, Benedick rationalizes his sudden interest in marriage by pointing out decisions made in one's youth are not binding.


But it would better fit your honor to change your mind.

Don John, Act 3, Scene 2

Don John tries to prevent the marriage of Claudio and Hero by appealing to Claudio's ego. He knows the fastest way to break up the happy couple is to tell Claudio Hero isn't good enough for him.


Our watch, sir, have indeed comprehended two aspicious persons.

Dogberry, Act 3, Scene 5

Dogberry is notorious for malapropisms, or mixing up words that sound alike but mean very different things, often to humorous effect. In this instance he mixes up auspicious, which means "favorable or successful," with the word he really means, suspicious. Dogberry is trying to sound more important and upper class than he actually is, which only serves to make him look foolish.


Hath no man's dagger here a point for me?

Leonato, Act 4, Scene 1

Leonato is worried only about himself, not his daughter, when Hero is accused of sleeping with an unknown man. In Elizabethan England an unmarried woman's virtue (namely her virginity) was considered to be the responsibility of her father. If Hero were unchaste, Leonato's reputation would be ruined as well.


O God, that I were a man! I would eat his heart in the marketplace.

Beatrice, Act 4, Scene 1

Beatrice feels helpless when her cousin is accused of sleeping with a man outside of wedlock. As a woman she has no recourse against Claudio. Her desire to be a man in this situation illustrates how very little power women had during the Elizabethan era.


But masters, remember that I am an ass.

Dogberry, Act 4, Scene 2

Dogberry is seriously offended when Conrade calls him an ass, and he wants to make sure everyone remembers it when it's time for Conrade's punishment. Instead, Dogberry's reminders just reinforce the idea he is, indeed, an ass.


What your wisdoms could not discover, these shallow fools have brought to light.

Borachio, Act 5, Scene 1

Borachio points out that Don Pedro's and Claudio's combined intelligence was no match for the witless Dogberry and Verges, who managed to clear Hero's name without even trying. The low-class, foolish Dogberry has somehow outsmarted the prince.


I thank you, princes, for my daughter's death.

Leonato, Act 5, Scene 1

Though Borachio confessed to being the mastermind of the plan behind Hero's slander, Leonato thinks Claudio and Don Pedro should take an equal share of the blame. They were the ones who believed the untrustworthy Don John, and they were the ones who publicly shamed Hero in the church. He thinks her "death" is more their fault than anyone else's, conveniently forgetting his own role in her shame.


Thou and I are too wise to woo peaceably.

Benedick, Act 5, Scene 2

Benedick and Beatrice continue their merry war of words even after acknowledging their love for one another. Their attempts to conform to the standards of traditional courtship seem false as they try to repress the wit that brought them together in the first place.


And surely as I live, I am a maid.

Hero, Act 5, Scene 4

During their first wedding ceremony, Claudio gives Hero no opportunity to defend herself against his slanderous claims. At their second wedding ceremony, she rebukes him (in the nicest way possible) for not believing her in the first place.


Here's our own hands against our hearts.

Benedick, Act 5, Scene 4

Though Beatrice and Benedick protest they're no more than friends, the sonnets they wrote to each other confirm they truly do love one another. Neither likes the idea of being in love, but they can't control how they feel.

Cite This Study Guide

information icon Have study documents to share about Much Ado About Nothing? Upload them to earn free Course Hero access!