Act 5, Scene 4: "Leonato's House" Notes from Much Ado about Nothing

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Much Ado about Nothing Act 5, Scene 4: "Leonato's House"

Leonato, Antonio, Benedick, Beatrice, Margaret, Ursula, the friar, and Hero enter the stage prepared for the second wedding. Everyone is thrilled that Hero is innocent and that the prince and Claudio were also proved to be innocent bystanders of John the Bastard's villainy. Leonato tells the four women to leave, mask themselves so that their faces cannot be seen, and prepare themselves for Claudio and the prince's arrival. When they leave, Benedick asks Leonato if he can marry Beatrice. The prince and Claudio arrive prepared to follow Leonato's orders to marry Antonio's supposed daughter. Antonio brings the four masked women onstage and gives Hero to Claudio. Claudio wants to see her face, but Antonio will not allow it until they are properly married. After he vows to marry her, she takes off her mask to reveal her true identity. "And when I liv'd I was your other wife: / And when you lov'd, you were my other husband...One Hero died defil'd, but I do live, / And surely as I live, I am a maid" Act 5, Scene 4, lines 60-64. Claudio and Don Pedro are in shock, elated.

Topic Tracking: Mistaken Identity 11

Benedick stops the celebration by asking which masked woman is Beatrice. Beatrice comes forth trying not to seem interested in Benedick. They insult one another by saying that the other loves them because they heard others say so. Hero steals a letter from Beatrice's pocket declaring her love for Benedick and Claudio steals a letter from Benedick pouring his heart out for Beatrice. Beatrice and Benedick wittily quarrel until Benedick kisses her. They are in love. Benedick gives up his renowned single life for the happy married life with Beatrice:

Topic Tracking: Faithfulness 11
Topic Tracking: Battle of the Sexes 9

"In brief, since I do purpose to marry, I will think nothing to any purpose that the world can say against it; and therefor never flout at me for what I have said against it, for man is a giddy thing, and this is my conclusion." Act 5, Scene 4, lines 106-110

Benedick tells Don Pedro to find a wife, as well, for he believes that the prince's sadness will disappear if he does so. A messenger enters to tell everyone that John the Bastard has been captured. Benedick tells the masses to worry about what to do with him tomorrow and to revel in their new joy of marriage today.

Topic Tracking: Battle of the Sexes 10

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