Much Ado About Nothing plot

Where does it take place? Messina, Italy
Who is Leonato? Governor of Messina
Who is Hero? Leonato’s daughter main woman but foil of Beatrice
Who is Beatrice? Hero’s cousin main woman
Who is Antonio? Beatrice’s father and Leonato’s brother
Who is Margaret? waiting woman to Hero who has relationship with Borachio
Who is Ursula? waiting woman to Hero
Who is Don Pedro? Prince of Aragon
Who is Claudio? a young lord of Florence; lover of Hero
Who is Benedick? a gentlemen from Badua; antagonist to Beatrice
Who is Balthasar? A musician in Leonato’s house
Who is Don John? Don Pedro’s evil half-brother
Who is Borachio? Don John’s follower
Who is Conrade? Don John’s follower
Why is it significant that Don Pedro and his men are returning from the wars? The end of the war allowed for the focus of love. It was a triumphant return. We encounter Claudio/new relationships. they are just passing through Messina
Why does Beatrice ask about Benedick? What is the “real” reason? Beatrice asks about Benedick because they had made a bet before he left . The real reason was because she wanted to see him and she likes having someone to argue with.
Beatrice and Benedick say that lovers are fools, and they want nothing to do with love. Why do you think they say this? Beatrice and Benedick hate love and don’t believe in it. I think they hate love because someone hurt them in the past to cause them to hate love.
How does Benedick react to Claudio’s declaration that Hero is “the sweetest lady that ever I looked on”? Benedick is furious & says lovers are fools. He feels that Hero might be like Beatrice.
Why does Claudio send Don Pedro as his emissary to Hero to declare his love? Claudio is to scared to talk to Hero himself
Why does Don John want to cause trouble? Why is he so morose? Don John wants to mess around & cause trouble to his brother because he is evil & wants to get back at his brother for the war. Don John is morose because he lost the war to his brother.
What are Beatrice’s reasons for not wanting to have anything to do with men? Beatrice says, “That he who has a beard is to old. But he with no beard is too young. If he’s to old, he’s not for me, if he’s to young, he’s not for me.”
What are Leonato’s instruction to his daughter, Hero, and what do these show about traditional attitudes? Leonato encourages Hero to marry Don Pedro, since Antonio told him he wants to woo her
According to the stage directions for the dance, Don John is not masked during the revels? Why? I believe that Don John is not masked to symbolize his isolation from the rest of the characters. He also just doesn’t want to be there.
Do you think Beatrice and Benedick know each other when they speak behind their masks? Why? Why not? I believe they do know who each other are & take advantage of being masked to talk bad about each other
Why does Don John pretend that he does not recognize Claudio? Don John pretended that he didn’t recognize Claudio because he wanted to pretend he was talking to Benedick
How does Benedick feel about his conversation with Beatrice? Benedick felt very shocked and offended by Beatrice’s comments
What does Beatrice mean when she says, “once before he [Benedick] won it [my heart] of me with false dice”? (II, i, 277-278) [p. 57] She means that Benedick once won Beatrice’s love
Why is Claudio unable to speak when Don Pedro tells him that the Lady Hero is his? Claudio isn’t able to speak because he is so excited and he thought that Don Pedro was trying to woo Hero for himself but Don Pedro was really doing it for him
Why does Don Pedro’s plan work so well? Don Pedro’s plan works so well because Hero believed he was Claudio and no trickery happened
How does Benedick rationalize himself into loving Beatrice? He over heard that Beatrice loved him so he decided to love her in return
Why do the women praise Benedick so highly when they describe how he loves Beatrice? The women want Beatrice to see all the good qualities Benedick has to make Beatrice consider why she is falling for him
Why does Hero say that she will not tell Beatrice about Benedick’s love? Hero says Beatrice has no compassion & will break Benedick’s heart
How fair are the women in their description of Beatrice’s behavior? Is she too hard on men? (Think back to her description of Don John.) Why are they devoting so much time to her reputation for “disdain”? Beatrice is hard to please. She is very picky when it comes to men. So, they are hoping she won’t be picky anymore
What is Beatrice’s reaction to the women’s speech? Beatrice is very defensive but claims she will prove them wrong by loving him. She will cast off her pride & love him despite what they say
Why do the men make fun of Benedick? Benedick has said he would never marry or love but now he has changed his mind
How does Don John plan to deceive Claudio and Don Pedro? Don John asks Claudio to spy on Hero’s window where he will see Borachio and Margaret. Claudio will think it is actually Borachio and Hero
Why does the Watch arrest Borachio and Conrade? they overhear them discussing how they tricked Claudio and Don Pedro into thinking a Hero cheated on Claudio
How does Claudio judge Hero’s behavior when he accuses her? Claudio believes that Hero is pretending to be a virgin when she is not
How do the rest of the company react? How can you explain in relationship to their other behavior in the play Leonato’s denunciation, Benedick’s confusion, and Beatrice’s conviction that Hero has been slandered? When Claudio accuses Hero, Leonato begins to believe it and when she faints he doubts her. Benedick is confused and it shows he doesn’t think Hero did it and he believes Don John is behind it all. Beatrice loves Hero so of course she believes her
How does the Friar propose to judge the situation? He says that they should pretend Hero has died and see how Claudio reacts
What does the Friar hope will happen as a result of his plan to have it published that Hero is dead? What kind of change does he think will come about in Claudio? The friar thinks that Claudio will realize he regrets what he says and they will find out who set them up
What happens between Benedick and Beatrice? Benedick and Beatrice confess their love for each other. Benedick says he will do anything for Beatrice
Why does Beatrice want to kill Claudio? Beatrice wants to kill Claudio because he falsely accused Hero
How does the confusion in the speech of Dogberry fit the theme of appearance versus reality? Dogberry says one word when he actually means another word. This fits into the theme appearance vs. reality because Dogberry tries to appear smart when talking, but in reality he is an idiot
What does Antonio say that gets Leonato to think again about his passionate denunciation of Hero? Antonio urges Leonato to have patience & to make others suffer for his pain. He advises him to not take the pain on alone
Does Leonato think Hero is guilty of being unvirtuous? Why? Why not? Leonato doubts Hero but he admits that he feels in his soul that she is innocent
Do you think Claudio makes a move to draw his sword against Leonato? Why or why not? Claudio must feel threatened by Leonato since Leonato tells him to not lay his sword on his hand
What is the purpose of this scene in which Leonato and his brother Antonio challenge Claudio for slandering Hero? It shows the lengths Leonato will go to protect Hero’s name but especially his. It also shows Claudio’s guilt when he realizes he was framed
What is Claudio’s attitude? What does this show about his character? Does it fit with your sense of his character? Claudio is very stubborn, gullible, and proud which is a side to Claudio that doesn’t really appear earlier in the play so it’s shocking
How does Don Pedro act when Benedick meets them? What is your reaction to the exchange of the three men? Why do you think they are acting as they do? Benedick is sad and Don Pedro & Claudio try to lighten the mood but he challenges them to a duel. There is a lot of tension. I was surprised by the exchange because the men usually get along so well. They are acting like this because Leonato promised to duel Claudio for Beatrice which makes him sad because he doesn’t want to hurt Claudio
To what extent is the punishment Leonato places on Claudio fitting? Why does he want Claudio to believe that he has killed Hero? He wants Claudio to feel guilt & wants Hero’s name cleared
Why do Beatrice and Benedick talk about loving each other only according to “reason”? How do they really feel about each other? They both say they only loved each other as pity but then Benedick kisses Beatrice and can’t hide it anymore. They love each other but it took them a long time to admit it.