Much Ado About Nothing


Act 3: Scenes 1 to 2

Summary: Act 3, Scene 1

Hero enters the orchard with two of her waiting women, Margaret and Ursula, and together the three women plan to trick Beatrice. Margaret goes inside to tell Beatrice that Hero and Ursula are talking about her, and Beatrice soon enters the bower to eavesdrop. Loudly, Hero tells Ursula that she knows Benedick is in love with Beatrice but that she (Hero) has advised the men to keep Benedick from approaching Beatrice. Hero and Ursula agree that Benedick is a very fine man who deserves only the best, but that Beatrice is so scornful and proud that she would only respond to Benedick’s love with contempt if she learned of it. Therefore, Hero plans to approach Benedick herself and counsel him to fight against his passion for Beatrice. They exit, chatting about Hero’s upcoming marriage.

Beatrice emerges from the bower, overwhelmed by mixed feelings of happiness and surprise about what she has heard. She regrets that she has become so famous for her proud and scornful nature and vows to behave kindly toward Benedick in the future so that he will not be afraid to approach her.

Summary: Act 3, Scene 2

Don Pedro informs Claudio, Benedick, and Leonato that he intends to return to Arragon on the day after Claudio’s wedding. He requests that Benedick accompany him, since Benedick is in no danger of being caught by “Cupid’s bow-string.” Benedick announces that he has changed, and the others laughingly suggest that perhaps he is in love. Don Pedro and Claudio make fun of his newly shaved beard and his melancholy face, saying that these are sure signs of a man in love. Benedick asks Leonato to walk aside because he has something to say to him in private. After they exit, Claudio and Don Pedro agree that he is surely going to ask Leonato for Beatrice’s hand.

Don John enters, putting an end to their good humor. He tells the prince and Claudio that Hero has been unfaithful to Claudio. When Claudio expresses astonishment at this, Don John convinces him...

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Essays About Much Ado About Nothing