Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare

In Shakespeare’s comedy, Much Ado About Nothing, a vile and filthy rotten scoundrel, named Don John, disgraces a family when he plays a horrific prank on a young girl and her lover. The setting is in Italy at the home of Leonato as he prepares for some friends returning home from war. Living with him in his home is his daughter, Hero, and his niece, Beatrice, along with her father, his brother, Antonio. Soon the group of friends arrive, including Prince Don Pedro, soldiers Claudio and Benedick, as well as the prince's illegitimate brother Don John.

Soon the two soldiers, Claudio and Benedick, fall in love with Hero and Beatrice respectively. However, Don John, wanting to spoil the love, devises a plan to break up the jubilation. He has his servant, Borachio, make love to another serving woman, Margaret, while having Claudio and Benedict watch. He makes Claudio believe that the woman is actually Hero, his love and soon-to-be bride. On the day of their wedding, Claudio abandons her at the altar and accuses her of lechery. After this, Hero’s family hides her away until she can be proven innocent. Soon after, two night watchmen overhear Don John confessing to what he did. When this happens her father convinces Claudio that Hero died of grief, and as his punishment for abandoning her, he should go around the town professing her innocence to save her name.

The family then tells Claudio that he will be married to Leonato’s niece who looks very much like his daughter. On the wedding day, Claudio is ecstatic to learn that it was an elaborate hoax and the woman he is marrying is Hero. While the wedding ceremony is taking place, Beatrice and Benedict confess their love for one another and a dual marriage takes place.

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