Much Ado About Nothing

Beatrice niece of leonato and cousins with Hero. Is feisty, cynical, witty, and sharp. Has a love hate relationship with Benedick, they constantly compete to outdo one another with clever insults. She overhears Hero describing that Benedick is in love with her, she opens herself to weaknesses of love. In the end marries Benedick
Benedick An aristocratic soldier who had recently been fighting under Don Pedro, and a friend of Don Pedro and Claudio. He engages with Beatrice in a competition to outwit, outsmart, and out-insult the other. Falls in love with Beatrice. He shows his love when Beatrice tells him to challenge Claudio, his best friend, in accusation as to Hero’s unchaste behavior. Marries Beatrice.
Hero daughter of Leonato and cousin of Beatrice. She is lovely, gentle, and kind. Falls in love with Claudio. Don John convinces Claudio that she was not pure and Claudio shames her in public at the wedding. She died from public embarrassment. However in the end she comes back to life and marries Caludio.
Claudio A young soldier who has won great fighting acclaim fighting under Don Pedro during the recent wars. Falls in love with Hero in his return to Messina. He believes evil rumors about Hero and calls her out at the wedding. Marries Hero (at second wedding)
Don John Brother of Don Pedro. He creates a dark scheme to ruin the happiness of Hero and Claudio. He is the villain of the play; his evil actions are motivated by his envy of his brother’s social authority.
Don Pedro Prince of Aragon. He uses his power and authority toward positive ends. He insist on wooing Hero for Claudio himself, while masked, rather than allowing Claudio to profess his love to Hero first. He orchestrates the whole plot and plays the role of director in this comedy of wit and manners.
Leonato A well respected noble whose home in Messina, Italy the story takes place. Governor of Messina. He is Hero’s father. He is very proud of his family name and is in shock at the scandal that took place at the wedding. He was ashamed of his daughter and worried about the family name.
Borachio An associate of Donn John. He is the lover of Margaret, Hero’s serving woman. Conspires with Don John to trick Claudio and Don Pedro into thinking that Hero is unfaithful to Claudio.
Dogberry Chief policeman of Messina. He is very sincere and takes his job serisouly, but has a habit of using exactly the wrong word to convey his meaning.
Verges The deputy to Dogberry
Balthasar A waiting man in Leonato’s household and a musician. He flirts with Margarret at the masked party and helps Leonato, Claudio, and Don Pedro trick Benedick into falling in love with Beatrice.
The Sexton
significance of the title
Shakespeare’s comedy contrivances multiple marriages, ‘love found, love lost, love reunited,” masks and disguises (balls to hide identity), comic figure (character provides comic relief)
malapropism a word used in ludicrously incorrect manner than sounds similar to the correct word
importance of “the watch”
significance of eavesdropping
masking “disguise of identity or a pattern” Benedick and Beatrice hiding their feeling. Don John pretending not to be the villain. Hero hiding she was dead. Borachio misrepresents himself as the person who committed adultery. Hiding the brides
chastity It was scornful for a woman not to be chaste. It would bring dishonor to the family and the woman would not get the dowry. Main theme especially when Leonato was upset that Hero, his only heir, was not chaste. Similar to the shame felt with Lydia when she ran off with Wickman. Lower their appearance to society- looked down upon. Heals the situation if Claudio was the one who took Hero’s virginity.
theme: Appearance vs. Reality Benedicks and Beatrice’s feelings
theme: Deception of others vs. Self deception others: when they trick Benedick into thinking Beatrice loves him vice versa, hero and how she was behavingself: Benedick thinks he’s against marriage
theme: Harmony vs. disruption everyone’s happy at beginning and ending of the play, don john creates mischief, the first wedding, when benedick challenges caludio to the duel