Much Ado About Nothing


Act 2: Scenes 1 to 3

Summary: Act 2, Scene 1

          This scene takes place at the evening masquerade and begins with the entrance of Hero, Beatrice, Leonato and Antonio. They are discussing Don John’s melancholy disposition. Beatrice jokingly decides that the perfect man would have one-half of Don John’s melancholy and one-half of Benedick’s talkativeness. The others tease Beatrice that her attitude will prevent her from ever finding a husband, and Beatrice responds that she does not want one. Leonato reminds Hero that if the prince should propose to her this evening, she should accept him.

          The other partygoers enter, wearing masks so that, presumably, they are not recognizable. Don Pedro approaches Hero and begins speaking flirtatiously to her. They dance together. Beatrice and Benedick also dance together and, under cover of their masks, continue to insult each other. Benedick, pretending to be an old man, tells Beatrice that he heard she was disdainful and that her cleverness comes from a book rather than her own wit. In turn, Beatrice says that everyone thinks Signor Benedick a fool and that they laugh at him behind his back.

          Don John and his henchmen approach the masked Claudio. Pretending to take him for Benedick, Don John asks him to dissuade the prince from marrying Hero because she is beneath his station. Don John insists that he has just heard the prince swear his love to Hero and promise to marry her. Claudio instantly becomes jealous and angry, believing that the prince has deceived him. Benedick reports to the prince that Claudio is overcome with jealousy, and Don Pedro explains that he will soon set things right. At the approach of Hero, Claudio, Leonato, and Beatrice, Benedick storms off to avoid Beatrice because he is still angry at her harsh words during their dance.

          Don Pedro soon convinces Claudio...

Sign up to continue reading Act 2: Scenes 1 to 3 >

Essays About Much Ado About Nothing