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Much Ado About Nothing

Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare
By: (1564-1616)

Written around the middle of his career, Much Ado About Nothing is one of Shakespeare's great festive comedies. The men are back from the war, and everyone is ready for romance. The dashing young Claudio falls for Hero, the daughter of Leonato, governor of Messina, and his friend Don Pedro helps him secure her affection. These youthful lovers are contrasted with the more experienced (and more cynical) Benedick and Beatrice, who have to be tricked into falling in love. Don Pedro's bastard brother, Don John, provides the intrigue, and the dimwitted constable Dogberry provides the laughs.

First Page:


by William Shakespeare


DON PEDRO, Prince of Arragon. DON JOHN, his bastard Brother. CLAUDIO, a young Lord of Florence. BENEDICK, a young Lord of Padua. LEONATO, Governor of Messina. ANTONIO, his Brother. BALTHAZAR, Servant to Don Pedro. BORACHIO, follower of Don John. CONRADE, follower of Don John. DOGBERRY, a Constable. VERGES, a Headborough. FRIAR FRANCIS. A Sexton. A Boy.

HERO, Daughter to Leonato. BEATRICE, Niece to Leonato. MARGARET, Waiting gentlewoman attending on Hero. URSULA, Waiting gentlewoman attending on Hero.

Messengers, Watch, Attendants, &c.

SCENE. Messina.

Act 1.

Scene I. Before LEONATO'S House.

[Enter LEONATO, HERO, BEATRICE and others, with a Messenger.]

LEONATO. I learn in this letter that Don Pedro of Arragon comes this night to Messina.

MESSENGER. He is very near by this: he was not three leagues off when I left him.

LEONATO. How many gentlemen have you lost in this action?

MESSENGER. But few of any sort, and none of name.

LEONATO. A victory is twice itself when the achiever brings home full numbers... Continue reading book >>

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