Much Ado About Nothing

Much Ado About Nothing is a regularly performed but seldom studied Shakespeare comedy, written and performed in 1598 and first printed in 1600. Its chief sources are Book V of Ariosto's Orlando Furioso and a novella by Bandello. We find ourselves in the court of the governor of Messina - Leonato - who is father of hero and uncle of Beatrice. The prince of Arragon comes to visit Leonato with his troublesome brother Don John and his friend Claudio. The main plot is the story of Claudio's courtship of Hero which is ruined by the intervention of Don John and his scheming. The matter is complicated considerably by the apparent death of Hero. Meanwhile, in the more famous subplot, we see Beatrice and Benedick begin to fall in love despite their perpetual battle of wits where they swear hatred of each other. The two plots intertwine with the duel between Benedick and Claudio. Further there are the two comic local constables, Dogberry and Verges, still to consider as they roll in to expose the plotting of Don John and Borachio. With the unveiling of a mysterious lady comes the inevitable reconciliation and sprightly dance. The play is best known and best appreciated for its comic wordplay, unmaskings and minor characters than for its largely forgettable main plot.

Table of contents
Dramatis Personae.
Act 1
Scene 1. Before LEONATO'S house.
Scene 2. A room in LEONATO's house.
Scene 3. The same.
Act 2
Scene 1. A hall in LEONATO'S house.
Scene 2. The same.
Scene 3. LEONATO'S orchard.
Act 3
Scene 1. LEONATO'S garden.
Scene 2. A room in LEONATO'S house
Scene 3. A street.
Scene 4. HERO's apartment.
Scene 5. Another room in LEONATO'S house.
Act 4
Scene 1. A church.
Scene 2. A prison.
Act 5
Scene 1. Before LEONATO'S house.
Scene 2. LEONATO'S garden.
Scene 3. A church.
Scene 4. A room in LEONATO'S house.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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