Much Ado About Nothing | Study Guide

William Shakespeare

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Course Hero. "Much Ado About Nothing Study Guide." December 2, 2016. Accessed September 22, 2023.


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Much Ado About Nothing | Act Summaries

See Act Summaries Chart

Timeline of Events

  • Monday evening

    Claudio and Hero get engaged at a masked ball; Don Pedro plans to join Benedick and Beatrice.

    Act 2, Scene 1
  • Tuesday

    Borachio and Don John conspire to slander Hero and ruin the impending wedding.

    Act 2, Scene 2
  • Later that week

    Benedick and Beatrice separately overhear conversations designed to make them fall in love.

    Act 2, Scene 3
  • Sunday

    Don John tells Claudio and Don Pedro that Hero is not a maid, inviting them to see proof that night.

    Act 3, Scene 2
  • Monday, after midnight

    The night watch arrests Borachio and Conrade after overhearing how Hero was slandered.

    Act 3, Scene 3
  • Monday

    Claudio and Don Pedro shame Hero at the wedding ceremony.

    Act 4, Scene 1
  • Later that day

    Beatrice and Benedick admit their love for one another. Benedick vows to avenge Hero's reputation.

    Act 4, Scene 1
  • Later that day

    The truth comes out about the plot to slander Hero, who Claudio thinks is now dead. He mourns.

    Act 5, Scene 1
  • Tuesday

    Hero is revealed to be alive and well. Claudio and Hero plan to marry, as do Benedick and Beatrice.

    Act 5, Scene 4

Act Summaries Chart

Act Summary
Act 1, Scene 1 Much Ado About Nothing opens at the home of Leonato, the governor of Messina, Italy. A messenger brings word to him, his... Read More
Act 1, Scene 2 Leonato's brother, Antonio, tells Leonato one of the servants overheard a conversation between Don Pedro and Claudio. In... Read More
Act 1, Scene 3 Don John, Don Pedro's illegitimate half brother, is in a foul mood. Conrade thinks he should be happy, but Don John does... Read More
Act 2, Scene 1 Beatrice, Leonato, Antonio, and Hero discuss their mutual dislike of Don John, and Beatrice suggests the perfect man lie... Read More
Act 2, Scene 2 Don John asks Borachio to come up with another idea on how to "cross this marriage" of Claudio and Hero. Borachio lays o... Read More
Act 2, Scene 3 Benedick is in the garden, talking to himself about Claudio's sudden change from soldier into lover. He briefly wonders ... Read More
Act 3, Scene 1 Hero initiates her part of the plan to make Beatrice and Benedick fall in love. She sends Margaret to tell Beatrice that... Read More
Act 3, Scene 2 Don Pedro plans to leave Messina after the wedding. Claudio offers to accompany him to Aragon, but Don Pedro insists Cla... Read More
Act 3, Scene 3 The setting shifts from inside Leonato's property to a deserted street in the middle of the night. Four members of the n... Read More
Act 3, Scene 4 It's the day of the wedding. Hero sends Ursula to wake Beatrice while Margaret helps her dress. They argue over what Her... Read More
Act 3, Scene 5 Dogberry and Verges visit Leonato. He is in the midst of preparations for the wedding, and he doesn't have time for a lo... Read More
Act 4, Scene 1 All of the nobles are gathered at the church. The ceremony gets off to a rocky start when Claudio denies he has come to ... Read More
Act 4, Scene 2 Dogberry, Verges, the men of the watch, Conrade, and Borachio are gathered in the courthouse or another official buildin... Read More
Act 5, Scene 1 Leonato is terribly upset about Hero's slander, and Antonio suggests Leonato, "make those that do offend you suffer too.... Read More
Act 5, Scene 2 Benedick is looking for Beatrice but finds Margaret instead. They jest back and forth and Margaret makes a dirty joke. B... Read More
Act 5, Scene 3 Claudio and Don Pedro go to Leonato's family tomb in the church courtyard, where they are greeting by lords holding cand... Read More
Act 5, Scene 4 Leonato's family, their servants, the friar, and Benedick all gather before the wedding ceremony. Leonato declares Don P... Read More
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