Much Ado About Nothing, Act 2, Scene 1

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  • Leonato
  • "By my troth, niece, thou wilt never get thee a husband if thou be so shrewd of thy tongue." (2.1.18-19)
  • So be it. I have no such interest in a husband. Especially not one like Benedick.
  • Beatrice
  • Don Pedro (as Claudio)
  • Hero
  • Shall we dance?
  • Benedick (in disguise)
  • Ugh, Benedick is such a jerk...
  • Really? I don't know him.
  • Psst... Don Pedro wants Hero.
  • Don John
  • Claudio (as Benedick)
  • No! I mean, really?
  • No way would I steal your girl! She's yours. But since there's some time before you get married, how about we entertain ourselves by making Beatrice and Benedick fall in love?
  • Beatrice and her uncle Leonato get into a debate about men and marriage where Beatrice's sharp wit is on full display. She quips that she will never have a husband until "God make men of some other metal than earth. Would it not grieve a woman to be overmastered with a piece of valiant dust?" (2.1.59-61)
  • At the masquerade, that night, Don Pedro, wearing a mask, asks Hero to "walk a bout with a friend" (2.1.84-85), and proceeds to woo her in Claudio's honor. Benedick, also masked, dances with Beatrice, who won't stop talking about him, spouting that Benedick told her "[she] was disdainful, and that [she] had [her] good wit out of The Hundred Merry Tales" (2.1.127-128). Meanwhile, Don John lies to a masked Claudio that Don Pedro intends to woo Hero for himself.
  • After venting about what he heard to Benedick, who laughs it off, then proceeds to get into another argument with and about Beatrice, Claudio talks with Don Pedro. He proceeds to call Don John's bluff, telling Claudio he has nothing to worry about. Claudio and Hero won't have their wedding for another week, so to pass the time, Don Pedro proposes making Beatrice and Benedick fall in love, proclaiming "If we can do this, Cupid is no longer an archer; his glory shall be ours, for we are the only love gods" (2.1.376-377).
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