Much Ado About Nothing


Act 3: Scenes 3 to 5

Summary: Act 3, Scene 3

The local constable, a comic figure named Dogberry, and his deputy, Verges, appear before the night watchmen to instruct them. Dogberry issues a series of rather confusing instructions, such as to make men stand in the prince’s name but to do nothing if they do not, to arrest thieves but then to let them go, and to refrain from talking but to go to sleep if they feel like it. With a final instruction to keep a special eye on Leonato’s house because of the upcoming wedding, Dogberry departs. 

Soon afterward, Conrade and Borachio enter the scene, unaware that the watchmen can hear them talking. Borachio brags to Conrade about how he has just earned a large sum of money from Don John. He explains how he seduced Margaret in such a way that Claudio believed her to be Hero. Borachio also relates that Claudio intends to denounce Hero as a whore the next day instead of marrying her. The night watchmen, overhearing all of this, arrest the two men for lechery and take them to the constable.

Summary: Act 3, Scene 4

It is the morning of the wedding, and Hero is getting ready. Ursula goes to get Beatrice, and Margaret jokes with Hero about Claudio. Beatrice enters and says that she is feeling unwell. Margaret suggests that perhaps she is lovesick, and teasingly suggests that she get an herb called Carduus benedictus to lay on her heart. Margaret also comments that Benedick has changed recently and that he no longer seems opposed to marriage. Ursula announces that Claudio and the other gentlemen have arrived to bring Hero to church.

Summary: Act 3, Scene 5

          Dogberry and Verges arrive at Leonato’s house to inform him about the arrest of Borachio and Conrade. Because Dogberry is so confusing in his choice of words, Leonato understands only that two men have been arrested but does not understand how it affects him personally. Impatiently, he tells Dogberry to question the men...

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