Much Ado About Nothing

Synopsis: Young lovers Hero and Claudio, soon to wed, conspire to get verbal sparring partners and confirmed singles Benedick and Beatrice to wed as well.
Genre: Comedy, Romance
161 min

I learn in this letter

that Don Pedro of Aragon

comes this night to Messina!

He is very near by this.

He was not three leagues off

when I left him.

- How many gentlemen have you lost in this action?

- But few of any sort and none of name.

A victory is twice itself when the achiever

brings home full numbers.

I find here that Don Pedro

hath bestowed much honor

on a young Florentine called Claudio!

Much deserved on his part

and equally remembered by Don Pedro:

He hath borne himself

beyond the promise of his age,

doing in the figure of a lamb

the feats of a lion!

he hath indeed better

bettered expectation

than you must expect of me to

tell you how.

I pray you, is Signior Mountanto

returned from the war or no?

I know none of that name, lady.

There was none such in the army of any sort.

What is he that you ask for, niece?

My cousin means

Signior Benedick of Padua.

He's returned,

and as pleasant as ever he was.

I pray you, how many hath

he killed and eaten in these wars?

But how many hath he killed?

For indeed I promised

to eat all of his killing.

Faith, niece, you tax

Signior Benedick too much;

but he'll be meet with you,

I doubt it not.

He hath done good service, lady,

in these wars.

You had musty victual,

and he hath help to eat them:

he is a very valiant trencherman;

he hath an excellent stomach.

And a good soldier too, lady.

And a good soldier to a lady.

- But what is he to a lord?

- A lord to a lord. A man to a man.

- Stuffed with all honourable virtues.

- It is so indeed.

He is no less than a stuffed man.

But for the stuffing, well...

We are all mortal.

You must not, sir, mistake my niece.

There is a kind of merry war

betwixt Signior Benedick and her.

They never meet, but there's

a skirmish of wit between them.

Alas! he gets nothing by that.

In our last conflict four of his

five wits went halting off,

and now is the whole man

governed with one:

Who is his companion now?

He hath every month

a new sworn brother.

- Is't possible?

- Very easily possible:

he wears his faith but as

the fashion of his hat;

it ever changes with the

next block.

I see, lady, the gentleman

is not in your books.

No; an he were, I would burn my study.

But, I pray you, who is his companion?

Is there no young squarer now

will make a voyage with him to the devil?

He is most in the company

of the right noble Claudio.

Oh, Lord!

He will hang upon him like a disease!

He is sooner caught than the pestilence,

and the taker runs presently mad.

God help the noble Claudio.

If he have caught the Benedick, it will

cost him 1,000 pounds ere he be cured.

I will hold friends with you, lady!

Do, good friend.

You will never run mad, niece.

No, not till a hot January.

Don Pedro is approaching!

Good Signior Leonato,

are you come to meet your trouble?

The fashion of the world is to

avoid cost, and you encounter it.

Never came trouble to my house

in the likeness of your grace.

You embrace your charge too willingly.

I think this is your daughter.

Her mother hath many times told me so.

Were you in doubt, sir, that you asked her?

Signior Benedick, no;

for then were you a child.

You have it full, Benedick!

Truly, the lady fathers herself.

Be happy, lady; for you are like an

honourable father.

If Signior Leonato be her father,

She would not have her father's head

on her shoulders for all Messina,

as like him as she is.

I wonder that you will still be talking,

Signior Benedick. Nobody marks you.

What, my dear Lady Disdain!

Are you yet living?

Is it possible disdain should die,

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William Shakespeare

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Much Ado About Nothing" STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 30 Jan. 2023. <>.

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