Much Ado About Nothing - Stuff that Happens in the Play
• Leonato, the governor of Messina, welcomes Don Pedro of Aragon and his troops after their recent military victory.
• Beatrice (Leonato’s niece) and Benedick (Don Pedro’s friend) resume their “merry war” and verbally spar with one another. Both swear they will never fall in love.
• Claudio (Don Pedro’s younger friend) tells Benedick that he is in love with Leonato’s daughter, Hero. Benedick tells Don Pedro of Claudio’s love for Hero.
• Don Pedro devises a plan in which he will pretend to be Claudio at a masked party, woo Hero for Claudio, and then get Leonato to give consent for Hero to marry Claudio.
• Leonato and his brother Antonio prepare for the evening party and mistakenly think Don Pedro wants to marry Hero.
• Don John, bastard brother of Don Pedro, tells his man Conrad, “I cannot hide what I am...a plain dealing villain.”
• At the party, seizing his opportunity to get even with Claudio (whom he despises), Don John convinces Claudio that Don Pedro has wooed Hero for himself.
• Don Pedro and Leonato clear the air when they reveal that Claudio may marry Hero.
• Don John devises another plot against Claudio in which Borachio, another of his men, will make Claudio believe Hero has been unfaithful.
• Knowing that Benedick is eavesdropping on them and thus will overhear, Don Pedro, Claudio, and Leonato pretend that Beatrice has professed her love for Benedick.
• Knowing that Beatrice is eavesdropping on them, Hero and her gentlewoman Ursula pretend that Benedick has professed his love for Beatrice.
• Don John makes Claudio believe Hero “is disloyal,” even the “night before her wedding day.” Claudio vows that if he should “see anything to-night why [he] should not marry her, tomorrow...will [he] shame her” after wedding day.
• Dogberry the Constable and his partner Verges prepare their watchmen for the night patrol.
• Borachio tells Conrad how he tricked Claudio into believing Hero was unfaithful. The watchmen overhear and arrest Borachio and Conrad.
• Before Dogberry and the watchmen can reveal the truth, Claudio rejects Hero and publicly shames her at their wedding; Hero collapses, Don Pedro and Claudio depart.
• Faked deaths, love vows, murder plans, and redemption ensue.