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  • Beatrice

    Beatrice is an unmarried woman who lives with her cousin Hero and uncle Leonato, who is her guardian. She is independent and enjoys witty arguments with people. Beatrice is admired for her happy nature although her family worry that her views on men will make it impossible for her to marry. She has been hurt by Benedick in the past and is determined to see him as the enemy. She is fiercely loyal to Hero and becomes frustrated, as the play progresses, that her position as a woman in society leaves her powerless to defend her cousin.

    Facts we learn about Beatrice at the start of the play:

    • She is unmarried.
    • She has no mother or father.
    • She lives with her uncle Leonato and cousin Hero.
    • She is very quick-witted.
    • She knows Benedick and doesn’t think much of him.

    Things they say:

    ‘he that is more than a youth, is not for me, and he that is less than a man, I am not for him’ (Beatrice, 1:1)

    Beatrice enjoys word play and is more than a match for any man. She has been hurt in love and has learnt to protect herself.

    ‘I was born to speak all mirth, but no matter.’ (Beatrice, 2:1)

    Beatrice avoids talking seriously and always tries to lighten the mood.

    ‘Contempt, farewell, and maiden pride, adieu’ (Beatrice, 3:1)

    Beatrice is ashamed of her bad qualities but determined to change.

    Things others say about them:

    ‘she hath often dreamed of unhappiness, and waked herself with laughing.’ (Leonato, 2:1)

    Beatrice is a positive person.

    ‘her wit / Values itself so highly, that to her / All matter else seems weak: she cannot love’ (Hero, 3:1)

    Beatrice puts all her energy into being witty and opinionated and is neglecting her heart.

    ‘they say the lady is fair, ’tis a truth, I can bear them witness: and virtuous, ’tis so, I cannot reprove it: and wise, but for loving me’ (Benedick, 2:3)

    Beatrice has many good qualities and is a good catch for any man.

  • Benedick

    Benedick is a soldier from Padua. He is loyal to his commander and friend Don Pedro and recently fought in a war for him. He never wants to get married and still lives like a young single man, mocking anyone in love. He is well liked and respected among his friends who find him entertaining company. He was once attracted to Beatrice but refuses to admit he still has feelings for her. Benedick hates being outwitted by Beatrice but, when he realises his true feelings, is loyal and protective to her. He is an honest, decent man who is not afraid to challenge his friends, even the prince, when he thinks they are wrong.

    Facts we learn about Benedick at the start of the play:

    • He has fought well in the war.
    • He is known for being a ladies' man and is respected by his friends.
    • His battles of wit with Beatrice are well known.
    • He is attracted to Beatrice.

    Things they say:

    'Do you question me as an honest man should do, for my simple true judgement? Or would you have me speak after my custom, as being a professed tyrant to their sex?’ (Benedick, 1:1)

    Benedick is not as bad as people think. His scornful opinions on women are a bit of an act and hide a more truthful nature.

    ‘When I said I would die a bachelor, I did not think I should live till I were married’ (Benedick, 2:3)

    Benedick lives for the moment and never imagined he would marry.

    ‘I will make it good how you dare, with what you dare, and when you dare: do me right, or I will protest your cowardice’ (Benedick, 5:1)

    Benedick is brave and honourable. He is prepared to fight a good friend to defend an innocent woman’s reputation.

    Things others say about them:

    ‘He wears his faith but as the fashion of his hat, it ever changes with the next block.’ (Beatrice, 1:1)

    Benedick is shallow. His feelings change as often as the latest fashion, in Beatrice’s opinion.

    ‘he hath twice or thrice cut Cupid’s bow-string, and the little hangman dare not shoot at him: he hath a heart as sound as a bell, and his tongue is the clapper’ (Don Pedro, 3:2)

    Benedick has a history of ending relationships when they become serious. This is a pity as he is an honest man with a good heart.

    ‘He is of noble strain, of approved valour and confirmed honesty’ (Don Pedro, 2:1)

    The prince thinks very highly of Benedick, who has proved himself to be noble, brave and honest.

  • Hero

    Hero is the only child of Leonato and lives with him and her cousin, Beatrice. A lot is said about Hero in the play but she says very little herself and therefore remains more of a mystery. She is obedient to her father and falls in love with Claudio quickly. Hero shows wit and intelligence when she tricks Beatrice into loving Benedick and clearly knows her cousin better than she knows herself. She is an innocent victim of Don John's plan and, when publicly shamed by Claudio and rejected by Leonato, she defends herself.

    Facts we learn about Hero at the start of the play:

    • She is beautiful.
    • She is an only child and lives with her father.
    • She also lives with her unmarried cousin, Beatrice.
    • She is spirited and plays a trick on Beatrice.
    • She and Claudio have met before.

    Things they say:

    ‘Give me joy to wear it, for my heart is exceeding heavy.’ (Hero, 3:4)

    Hero admits she is nervous of her wedding night.

    ‘Is it not Hero? Who can blot that name with any just reproach?’ (Hero, 4:1)

    Hero is confident of her own honesty and purity. She is brave enough to challenge anyone to deny it.

    ‘One Hero died defiled, but I do live, / And surely as I live, I am a maid.’ (Hero, 5:4)

    Hero is strong and ends all rumours of being unfaithful. She tells Claudio that the Hero he accused is dead. She is alive and swears on her life that she is chaste.

    Things others say about them:

    ‘I will acquaint my daughter withal, that she might be the better prepared for an answer’ (Leonato, 1:2)

    Hero must obey her father in deciding who she will marry.

    ‘You seem to me as Dian in her orb, / As chaste as is the bud ere it be blown.’ (Claudio, 4:1)

    Hero looks so young and pure that Claudio has an ideal, almost unreal, image of her.

    ‘And in her eye there hath appeared a fire, / To burn the errors these princes hold / Against her maiden truth.’ (Friar, 4:1)

    Hero’s innocence shows in her face.

  • Claudio

    Claudio is a Count from Florence, Italy. As a soldier, he has fought in a war for Don Pedro and been honoured for bravery. He is young and inexperienced in relationships and falls in love with Hero very quickly. Claudio enjoys a joke with his friends but has strong emotions and is easily influenced by others. He believes Don John when he tells him that Don Pedro is in love with Hero and believes him again when Don John shows him Borachio kissing Margaret (telling him it’s Hero). Claudio even shames Hero on their wedding day, telling everyone that she has been unfaithful. When Claudio finally finds out it wasn’t Hero he saw, he is horrified and does everything he can to make things right.

    Facts we learn about Claudio at the start of the play:

    • He has fought very bravely in the war and won honours from the prince.
    • He has an uncle in Messina who cried at this news.
    • He is close friends with Benedick.
    • He falls in love with Hero.

    Things they say:

    ‘But now I am returned and that war-thoughts / Have left their places vacant, in their rooms / Come thronging soft and delicate desires’ (Claudio, 1:1)

    Claudio is looking for love now he is back from the war.

    ‘For thee I'll lock up all the gates of love, / And on my eyelids shall conjecture hang, / To turn all beauty into thoughts of harm, / And never shall it more be gracious.’ (Claudio, 4:1)

    Claudio reacts dramatically when he is emotional. He believes Hero has been unfaithful so he intends to keep away from love in the future and be suspicious of all women.

    ‘Choose your revenge yourself; / Impose me to what penance your invention / Can lay upon my sin; yet sinned I not / But in mistaking.’ (Claudio, 5:1)

    Claudio refuses to admit his own wrongdoing, even when he believes Hero is dead.

    Things others say about them:

    ‘He hath borne himself beyond the promise of his age, doing in the figure of a lamb the feats of a lion.’ (Messenger, 1:1)

    Despite his youth, Claudio has been fearless in battle, showing the skills of a much older soldier.

    ‘Alas poor hurt fowl, now will he creep into sedges’ (Benedick, 2:1)

    Claudio will sulk in silence rather than confront Don Pedro, who he thinks has stolen Hero.

    ‘I will leave you now to your gossip-like humour: you break jests as braggarts do their blades, which God be thanked hurt not’ (Benedick, 5:1)

    Claudio is not behaving appropriately. He is full of gossip and stupid jokes when the situation is very serious and he has done damage to an innocent woman.

  • Leonato

    Leonato is the governor of the city of Messina. He lives with his only child, Hero, and niece Beatrice, to whom he is guardian. Most of the play takes place at his house. He is a friend of Don Pedro and welcomes him and his men as guests when they return from war. Leonato is well respected and has a close relationship with his family, including older brother Antonio. He is very protective of his daughter and expects her to be obedient, especially when it comes to marriage. However, when Hero’s chastity is questioned, he rejects her cruelly, thinking her better off dead than without her honour. When he discovers she was faithful, he defends her and arranges for her to marry Claudio.

    Facts we learn about Leonato at the start of the play:

    • He is an important man in Messina.
    • He has an unmarried daughter, Hero, and is guardian to his niece, Beatrice.
    • He is friends with Don Pedro and pleasing the prince is important to him.
    • He invites Don Pedro and his men to stay with him for at least a month.

    Things they say:

    ‘But mine and mine I loved and mine I praised / And mine that I was proud on, mine so much / That I myself was to myself not mine, / Valuing of her’ (Leonato, 4:1)

    Leonato has loved and been so proud of Hero that he put her first and neglected himself.

    ‘If they speak but truth of her, / These hands shall tear her; if they wrong her honour, / The proudest of them shall well hear of it.’ (Leonato, 4:1)

    Honour means everything to Leonato. Hero losing her honour makes him want to destroy her. But if she has been falsely accused, even the prince will have to face his wrath.

    ‘There thou speak'st reason; nay, I will do so. / My soul doth tell me Hero is belied’ (Leonato, 5:1)

    Leonato is not completely blinded by grief. In his heart, he knows his daughter is innocent.

    Things others say about them:

    ‘I dare swear he is no hypocrite, but prays from his heart.’ (Don Pedro, 1:1)

    Leonato is a generous and genuine host.

    ‘I should think this a gull, but that the white-bearded fellow speaks it; knavery cannot, sure, hide himself in such reverence.’ (Benedick, 2:3)

    Leonato is a man who people trust and respect so much that Benedick can’t believe him guilty of trickery.

    ‘Therein do men from children nothing differ.’ (Antonio, 5:1)

    Leonato is reacting like a child. He is allowing his feelings to take over and is not listening to reason.

  • Don Pedro

    Don Pedro is the Prince of Aragon. He has recently been successful in war and has returned to Messina with his soldiers. He is starting to forgive his illegitimate brother, Don John for their past disagreements. Don Pedro is a noble man and inspires respect and loyalty from his friends and followers. He is also fair and recognises people’s strengths, giving rewards and compliments where they are earned. Don Pedro enjoys witty jokes and admires Beatrice's character. He is the first to realise she and Benedick are a perfect match and arranges the plan to trick them both. He is loyal and willing to help his friends but the first to admit when he is wrong and quick to make things right. Despite being surrounded by friends, he is alone at the end of the play.

    Facts we learn about Don Pedro at the start of the play:

    • He is a prince.
    • He has an illegitimate brother, Don John, who he has very recently reconciled with.
    • He has just won a war.
    • He is very fond of Claudio and recognised his bravery in the war.
    • He is a good friend of Leonato.

    Things they say:

    ‘Will you have me, lady?’ (Don Pedro, 2:1)

    Don Pedro thinks very highly of Beatrice.

    ‘Gentlemen both, we will not wake your patience. / My heart is sorry for your daughter's death’ (Don Pedro, 5:1)

    Don Pedro recognises a serious situation and tries to calm it down.

    ‘By my soul, nor I: / And yet, to satisfy this good old man, / I would bend under any heavy weight / That he'll enjoin me to.’ (Don Pedro, 5:1)

    Don Pedro is willing to do anything to make up for the harm he’s caused Leonato.

    Things others say about them:

    ‘How sweetly you do minister to love, / That know love's grief by his complexion!’ (Claudio, 1:1)

    Don Pedro has respect for his friends’ true feelings and gives very sensitive advice.

    ‘I thank you, princes, for my daughter’s death, / Record it with your high and worthy deeds, / ’Twas bravely done’ (Leonato, 5:1)

    Don Pedro is a respected man who has achieved a lot of great things. His treatment of Hero, however, is shameful and beneath him.

    ‘Prince, thou art sad, get thee a wife, get thee a wife’ (Benedick, 5:4)

    Don Pedro has done a lot to help his friends get good relationships, yet he is alone.

  • Don John

    Don John is the illegitimate brother of Don Pedro, the prince. Because of this, he doesn’t have the same power or position as Don Pedro. Don John has argued with Don Pedro in the past but Don Pedro has started to forgive him and Don John is welcomed into Leonato's house. However, Don John is bitter and angry and wants to make trouble for Don Pedro. He is also jealous of Claudio, who Don Pedro has recently rewarded, thinking he has all the glory that should be his. Using his two followers, Borachio and Conrad, Don John plots against Claudio and Don Pedro, not caring that it will hurt other innocent people. When this plot is discovered, Don John runs away but is eventually arrested by Don Pedro's men.

    Facts we learn about Don John at the start of the play:

    • He is the illegitimate brother of Don Pedro and is very bitter.
    • He has recently been forgiven by Don Pedro.
    • He is welcomed by Leonato into his home.
    • He admits he is a villain and wants to cause trouble.
    • He is jealous of Claudio and his relationship with Don Pedro.

    Things they say:

    ‘I cannot hide what I am. I must be sad when I have cause, and smile at no man's jests; eat when I have stomach, and wait for no man's leisure’ (Don John, 1:3)

    Don John refuses to put on an act for anyone. What you see is what you get.

    ‘it better fits my blood to be disdained of all, than to fashion a carriage to rob love from any. In this, though I cannot be said to be a flattering honest man, it must not be denied but I am a plain-dealing villain.’ (Don John, 1:3)

    Don John would rather be hated by everyone than make an effort to be liked. In this way, he sees himself as an honest villain, rather than a pretend friend.

    ‘am trusted with a muzzle and enfranchised with a clog; therefore I have decreed not to sing in my cage. If I had my mouth, I would bite; if I had my liberty, I would do my liking.’ (Don John, 1:3)

    Don John is not free to say and do what he wants in Don Pedro’s company.

    Things others say about them:

    ‘it is impossible you should take true root, but by the fair weather that you make yourself’ (Conrad, 1:3)

    Don John will only strengthen his friendship with Don Pedro if he behaves himself.

    ‘How tartly that gentleman looks! I never can see him but I am heart-burned an hour after.’ (Beatrice, 2:1)

    Don John appears sour-faced and unpleasant in public.

    ‘He is composed and framed of treachery.’ (Don Pedro, 5:1)

    There is no good to be found in Don John at all.

  • Dogberry

    Dogberry is constable of the Watch, the Elizabethan version of the police, who were considered a bit of a joke in Shakespeare’s time. He is a comic character who is full of contradictions: he takes his job very seriously but is hopeless at doing it and he talks a great deal but uses the wrong words to explain himself. He is proud and uses important-sounding phrases and sayings to sound clever. Unfortunately, this has the opposite effect and confuses everybody around him. Although he is a figure of fun, Dogberry has an important role in increasing the drama of the play. He takes so long explaining things to Leonato before Hero’s wedding that Leonato leaves without hearing important news which could have saved Hero so much pain. He also takes the credit for bringing Don John and his men to justice, despite the fact that he did very little.

    Facts we learn about Dogberry at the start of the play:

    • He is constable of the Watch, whose duty it is to watch over the city of Messina.
    • He has a deputy called Verges.
    • He is appointing a new constable and explaining their duties.
    • He uses a lot of wrong words and malapropisms.

    Things they say:

    ‘Truly, I would not hang a dog by my will, much more a man who hath any honesty in him.’ (Dogberry, 3:3)

    Dogberry is not a great communicator as he is saying he would hang an honest man but not a dog.

    ‘I am a wise fellow, and, which is more, an officer; and, which is more, a householder; and, which is more, as pretty a piece of flesh as any is in Messina; and one that knows the law, go to; and a rich fellow enough, go to; and a fellow that hath had losses; and one that hath two gowns and every thing handsome about him.’ (Dogberry, 4:2)

    Dogberry is very proud and thinks he has some excellent qualities including good looks and life experience.

    Things others say about them:

    ‘You have been always called a merciful man, partner.’ (Verges, 3:3)

    Dogberry has a reputation for being fair and forgiving.

    'Away, you are an ass, you are an ass.’ (Conrad, 4:2)

    Dogberry is such an idiot that even criminals can’t respect him.

    ‘This learned constable is too cunning to be understood.’ (Don Pedro, 5:1)

    Dogberry is speaking nonsense. He also doesn’t realise when someone is being sarcastic.

  • Margaret

    Margaret is one of Hero’s waiting women, along with Ursula. She is close to Hero and is trusted by her. She is witty and confident in company and can keep up with the wordplay of both Beatrice and Benedick. Her humour can be rude and she enjoys teasing both Hero and Beatrice about men. She is certainly a match for Benedick, who also comments that she is good looking. Margaret is not always the best judge of character and has had a relationship with Borachio, one of Don John’s men. Despite being a servant, Shakespeare places Margaret at the centre of the drama. Not knowing that Borachio is using her to frame her mistress, Margaret entertains him in Hero’s bedroom the night before the wedding. Margaret’s innocence is firmly established by everyone at the end of the play.

    Facts we learn about Margaret at the start of the play:

    • She is one of Hero's maids, together with Ursula.
    • She is witty and clever.
    • She has known Borachio for at least a year and has had a relationship with him.
    • She is trusted by Hero and Beatrice.

    Things they say:

    ‘So would not I, for your own sake; for I have many ill qualities.’ (Margaret, 2:1)

    Margaret is playful and enjoys flirting.

    ‘An bad thinking do not wrest true speaking, I'll offend nobody.’ (Margaret, 3:4)

    Margaret speaks honestly and doesn’t mean to hurt anyone. Her words are only offensive if someone twists their meaning.

    ‘To have no man come over me! Why, shall I always keep below stairs?’ (Margaret, 5:2)

    Margaret is witty and beautiful enough to win any man but she worries that as a waiting woman, she will never manage to marry someone of higher social status.

    Things others say about them:

    'I can, at any unseasonable instant of the night, appoint her to look out at her lady's chamber window.’ (Borachio, 2:2)

    Margaret can be easily influenced by Borachio.

    ‘No, by my soul, she was not, / Nor knew not what she did when she spoke to me, / But always hath been just and virtuous / In any thing that I do know by her.’ (Borachio, 5:1)

    Margaret had no idea that she was part of Borachio’s plot. She is such an honest and decent person that even a villain defends her.

    ‘Thy wit is as the greyhound’s mouth, it catches.’ (Benedick, 5:2)

    Margaret is very quick witted. Her jokes hit their target.

  • Borachio

    Borachio is a follower of Don John, the illegitimate brother of the prince. He is loyal to Don John and, together with Conrad, Borachio acts as a kind of spy, passing on pieces of information that may help Don John cause trouble for his brother. Borachio is the one who comes up with the plot to disgrace Hero and takes money from Don John for doing it. He uses his relationship with Hero’s waiting woman Margaret to deceive Don Pedro and Claudio into thinking he has been with Hero in her bedroom the night before the wedding. When Borachio drunkenly boasts about his crime and the money he has earned from Don John to do it, he is overheard by the Watch and arrested. However, Borachio seems genuinely sorry for what he’s done. He confesses everything and makes sure Margaret’s name is cleared.

    Facts we learn about Borachio at the start of the play:

    • He is a follower of Don John, together with Conrad.
    • He has no loyalty to Don Pedro, Claudio or Leonato.
    • He is willing to help Don John cause trouble for Don Pedro.
    • He is paid well by Don John for his information and his help.
    • He has wooed Margaret in the past and knows her well.

    Things they say:

    ‘Not honestly, my lord; but so covertly that no dishonesty shall appear in me.’ (Borachio, 2:2)

    Borachio is very cunning and a good liar.

    ‘Know that I have tonight wooed Margaret, the Lady Hero's gentlewoman, by the name of Hero’ (Borachio, 3:3)

    Borachio is very persuasive. He has convinced Margaret to let him call her by her mistress's name.

    ‘My villainy they have upon record, which I had rather seal with my death than repeat over to my shame. The lady is dead upon mine and my master's false accusation; and, briefly, I desire nothing but the reward of a villain.’ (Borachio, 5:1)

    Borachio is either extremely sorry and ashamed of what he’s done or he is a very good liar when he knows he’s in trouble.

    Things others say about them:

    ‘but art thou thyself giddy with the fashion too, that thou hast shifted out of thy tale into telling me of the fashion?’ (Conrad, 3:3)

    Borachio shows off when he is drunk and forgets the point of what he’s saying.

    ‘I know that Deformed; he has been a vile thief this seven year, a goes up and down like a gentleman: I remember his name.’ (Watchman 1, 3:3)

    Borachio is well known to the police. He dresses and acts like a gentleman but is really a lowlife thief.

    ‘Art thou the slave that with thy breath hast killed / Mine innocent child?’ (Leonato, 5:1)

    Borachio has done a great deal of damage from creating a lie.

Explore their relationships

Beatrice

  • Beatrice - Benedick

    Their relationship is quite hostile when they meet in Act 1 Scene 1. They fall into old habits of squabbling and their constant arguing hints at the fact that they have known each other a long time.

    ‘I wonder that you will still be talking, Signor Benedick, nobody marks you.’ (Beatrice, 1:1)
    ‘Well you are a rare parrot-teacher.’ (Benedick, 1:1)

    Things get worse at the masked ball when Beatrice hears Benedick has insulted her and she insults him back. We learn that he has hurt her in the past.

    ‘he lent it me a while, and I gave him use for it, a double heart for his single one: marry once before he won it of me, with false dice’ (Beatrice, 2:1)
    ‘here’s a dish I love not, I cannot endure my Lady Tongue.’ (Benedick, 2:1)

    After being tricked by his friends, Benedick is convinced of Beatrice’s love for him and is ready to love her back. Beatrice, however, has no idea.

    ‘Against my will I am sent to bid you come in to dinner.’ (Beatrice, 2:3)
    ‘Fair Beatrice, I thank you for your pains.’ (Benedick, 2:3)

    Their relationship grows stronger after Act 3 Scene 1 when Beatrice is tricked and realises she loves Benedick too. After the terrible events at the wedding in Act 4 Scene 1, the two finally admit deep feelings for each other.

    ‘I love you with so much of my heart, that none is left to protest.’ (Beatrice, 4:1)
    ‘Come bid me do anything for thee.’ (Benedick, 4:1)

    Their relationship is very strong by Act 5 Scene 4. Benedick has proved his love to Beatrice by challenging Claudio. He has also asked Leonato for her hand in marriage. They are forced to admit their love in public when sonnets they’ve written to each other are exposed.

    ‘A miracle, here’s our own hands against our hearts’ (Benedick, 5:4)
    ‘I would not deny you, but by this good day, I yield upon great persuasion’ (Beatrice, 5:4)

  • Beatrice - Hero

    Their relationship is strong at the start of the play. Hero and Beatrice live together and know each other well. Beatrice is protective towards Hero and wants her to keep an independent mind.

    ‘yet for all that, cousin, let him be a handsome fellow, or else make another curtsey, and say, father, as it please me.’ (Beatrice, 2:1)

    Hero leads the plan to make Beatrice fall for Benedick, talking about Beatrice and her failings so that Beatrice can overhear them. Hero does this to try and help Beatrice but the language could be seen as quite cruel.

    ‘she cannot love, / Nor take no shape nor project of affection, / She is so self-endeared.’ (Hero, 3:1)
    ‘What fire is in mine ears? Can this be true?’ (Beatrice, 3:1)

    The bond between Beatrice and Hero is very clear in Act 4 Scene 1 when Hero is publicly shamed at her wedding. Beatrice is the first to reach Hero when she faints and, in her grief, thinks Hero is dead.

    ‘Oh on my soul my cousin is belied.’ (Beatrice, 4:1)

    Beatrice is fiercely loyal to Hero even when her own father turns his back on her. Beatrice’s tears turn to anger on her cousin’s behalf and she even asks Benedick to kill Claudio, saying she would do it herself if she were a man.

    ‘Sweet Hero, she is wronged, she is slandered, she is undone.’ (Beatrice, 4:1)

    Their relationship is still very strong at the end of the play. Hero is not above teasing Beatrice in public, stealing a sonnet that she’s written for Benedick and reading it aloud to everyone.

    'And here’s another, / Writ in my cousin’s hand, stolen from her pocket, / Containing her affection unto Benedick.’ (Hero, 5:4)

  • Beatrice - Leonato

    Their relationship is strong at the start of the play. Leonato cares for Beatrice as her uncle and guardian. He praises her character and spirit but worries she’ll remain unmarried.

    ‘There’s little of the melancholy in her, my lord, she is never sad, but when she sleeps’ (Leonato, 2:1)
    ‘No, uncle, I’ll none: Adam’s sons are my brethren, and truly I hold it a sin to match in my kindred.’ (Beatrice, 2:1)

    Their relationship is still strong and Leonato takes an active part in Don Pedro’s plan to bring Beatrice and Benedick together, wanting to see her happy with Benedick.

    ‘I cannot tell what to think of it, but that she loves him with an enraged affection, it is past the infinite of thought.’ (Leonato, 2:3)

    Their relationship is tested in Act 4 Scene 1 when Leonato rejects Hero in front of the whole church and says he wishes her dead.

    ‘Dead I think, help, uncle! / Hero, why Hero: uncle: Signor Benedick: friar!’ (Beatrice, 4:1)
    ‘Do not live, Hero, do not ope thine eyes’ (Leonato, 4:1)

    Their relationship is mostly restored when Leonato is happy to give his blessing for Benedick to marry Beatrice and once Beatrice knows Hero is okay.

    ‘My heart is with your liking.’ (Leonato, 5:4)

Benedick

  • Benedick - Beatrice

    Their relationship is quite hostile when they meet in Act 1 Scene 1. They fall into old habits of squabbling and their constant arguing hints at the fact that they have known each other a long time.

    ‘I wonder that you will still be talking, Signor Benedick, nobody marks you.’ (Beatrice, 1:1)
    ‘Well you are a rare parrot-teacher.’ (Benedick, 1:1)

    Things get worse at the masked ball when Beatrice hears Benedick has insulted her and she insults him back. We learn that he has hurt her in the past.

    ‘he lent it me a while, and I gave him use for it, a double heart for his single one: marry once before he won it of me, with false dice’ (Beatrice, 2:1)
    ‘here’s a dish I love not, I cannot endure my Lady Tongue.’ (Benedick, 2:1)

    After being tricked by his friends, Benedick is convinced of Beatrice’s love for him and is ready to love her back. Beatrice, however, has no idea.

    ‘Against my will I am sent to bid you come in to dinner.’ (Beatrice, 2:3)
    ‘Fair Beatrice, I thank you for your pains.’ (Benedick, 2:3)

    Their relationship grows stronger after Act 3 Scene 1 when Beatrice is tricked and realises she loves Benedick too. After the terrible events at the wedding in Act 4 Scene 1, the two finally admit deep feelings for each other.

    ‘I love you with so much of my heart, that none is left to protest.’ (Beatrice, 4:1)
    ‘Come bid me do anything for thee.’ (Benedick, 4:1)

    Their relationship is very strong by Act 5 Scene 4. Benedick has proved his love to Beatrice by challenging Claudio. He has also asked Leonato for her hand in marriage. They are forced to admit their love in public when sonnets they’ve written to each other are exposed.

    ‘A miracle, here’s our own hands against our hearts’ (Benedick, 5:4)
    ‘I would not deny you, but by this good day, I yield upon great persuasion’ (Beatrice, 5:4)

  • Benedick - Don Pedro

    Their relationship is strong at the the start of the play. Benedick has fought for Don Pedro and is loyal to him. They are comfortable in each other's company and Don Pedro finds Benedick entertaining.

    ‘I shall see thee, ere I die, look pale with love.’ (Don Pedro, 1:1)
    ‘Will your grace command me any service to the world’s end?’ (Benedick, 2:1)

    Their relationship is still strong. Don Pedro comes up with a plan to make Benedick fall in love with Beatrice. He appreciates Benedick’s strong points.

    ‘Benedick is not the unhopefullest husband that I know: thus far can I praise him, he is of noble strain, of approved valour and confirmed honesty.’ (Don Pedro, 2:1)

    Their relationship is weakened when Don Pedro joins Claudio to shame Hero at the wedding. Benedick is confused. He knows Don Pedro is honourable and suspects he has been tricked by Don John.

    ‘Two of them have the very bent of honour, / And if their wisdoms be misled in this, / The practice of it lives in John the bastard’ (Benedick, 4:1)

    Benedick refuses to joke with Don Pedro any more and ends his friendship with him for his part in shaming Hero. Don Pedro thinks Benedick is being foolish.

    ‘my lord, for your many courtesies I thank you: I must discontinue your company’ (Benedick, 5:1)
    ‘What a pretty thing man is, when he goes in his doublet and hose, and leave off his wit!’ (Don Pedro, 5:1)

    Their relationship is restored at the end of the play when Don Pedro realises his mistake and all is forgotten. Don Pedro teases Benedick about getting married. Benedick notices a sadness in him and tries to raise his spirits about Don John.

    ‘How dost thou, Benedick the married man?’ (Don Pedro, 5:4)
    ‘Think not on him till tomorrow, I’ll devise thee brave punishments for him’ (Benedick, 5:4)

Hero

  • Hero - Claudio

    Their relationship is fairly strong in Act 1 as Claudio believes his feelings for Hero have deepened since he came back from war. However, Claudio does not know Hero well and has a very ideal image of her.

    ‘I am yours for the walk, and especially when I walk away.’ (Hero to Don Pedro, who is pretending to be Claudio, 2:1)
    ‘Lady, as you are mine, I am yours: I give away myself for you, and dote upon the exchange.’ (Claudio, 2:1)

    Their relationship is badly damaged after Act 3 Scene 2, when Claudio believes Hero is being unfaithful. He sees the servant Margaret with Borachio but is easily convinced that it is Hero. Hero knows nothing of this and is getting ready for her wedding.

    ‘in the congregation, where I should wed, there will I shame her.’ (Claudio, 3:2)
    ‘God give me joy to wear it, for my heart is exceeding heavy.’ (Hero, 3:4)

    Their relationship is destroyed at the wedding in Act 4 Scene 1 when Claudio publicly shames Hero. Hero faints in shock when wrongly accused of being unfaithful.

    ‘For thee I’ll lock up all the gates of love’ (Claudio, 4:1)
    ‘Oh God defend me, how am I beset! / What kind of catechising call you this?’ (Hero, 4:1)

    There is hope for their relationship in Act 5 Scene 1, when Claudio hears Borachio’s confession. He realises that Hero is innocent and that he was wrong in shaming her.

    ‘Sweet Hero, now thy image doth appear / In the rare semblance that I loved it first.’ (Claudio, 5:1)

    Their relationship is stronger at the end of the play than at the beginning. When Hero is revealed to be alive in Act 5 Scene 4, their love can now be based on something deeper than attraction.

    ‘Give me your hand before this holy friar, / I am your husband if you like of me.’ (Claudio, 5:4)
    ‘One Hero died defiled, but I do live, / And surely as I live, I am a maid.’ (Hero, 5:4)

  • Hero - Beatrice

    Their relationship is strong at the start of the play. Hero and Beatrice live together and know each other well. Beatrice is protective towards Hero and wants her to keep an independent mind.

    ‘yet for all that, cousin, let him be a handsome fellow, or else make another curtsey, and say, father, as it please me.’ (Beatrice, 2:1)

    Hero leads the plan to make Beatrice fall for Benedick, talking about Beatrice and her failings so that Beatrice can overhear them. Hero does this to try and help Beatrice but the language could be seen as quite cruel.

    ‘she cannot love, / Nor take no shape nor project of affection, / She is so self-endeared.’ (Hero, 3:1)
    ‘What fire is in mine ears? Can this be true?’ (Beatrice, 3:1)

    The bond between Beatrice and Hero is very clear in Act 4 Scene 1 when Hero is publicly shamed at her wedding. Beatrice is the first to reach Hero when she faints and, in her grief, thinks Hero is dead.

    ‘Oh on my soul my cousin is belied.’ (Beatrice, 4:1)

    Beatrice is fiercely loyal to Hero even when her own father turns his back on her. Beatrice’s tears turn to anger on her cousin’s behalf and she even asks Benedick to kill Claudio, saying she would do it herself if she were a man.

    ‘Sweet Hero, she is wronged, she is slandered, she is undone.’ (Beatrice, 4:1)

    Their relationship is still very strong at the end of the play. Hero is not above teasing Beatrice in public, stealing a sonnet that she’s written for Benedick and reading it aloud to everyone.

    'And here’s another, / Writ in my cousin’s hand, stolen from her pocket, / Containing her affection unto Benedick.’ (Hero, 5:4)

  • Hero - Leonato

    The relationship is very strong at the start of the play. Hero is Leonato’s only child and he is her only parent. He cares for her and she is obedient to him.

    ‘Daughter, remember what I told you: if the prince do solicit you in that kind, you know your answer.’ (Leonato, 2:1)

    Their relationship takes a shocking turn at Hero’s wedding when Leonato believes everything the prince and Claudio say and he rejects her, wishing she was dead.

    ‘if they speak but truth of her, / These hands shall tear her’ (Leonato, 4:1)
    ‘Refuse me, hate me, torture me to death.’ (Hero, 4:1)

    Leonato admits that he has more faith in his daughter and challenges Claudio to a duel for disgracing her.

    ‘My soul doth tell me, Hero is belied, / And that shall Claudio know, so shall the prince, / And all of them that this dishonour her.’ (Leonato, 5:1)

    Hero’s innocence is revealed and Leonato makes sure Claudio earns his right to marry his daughter.

    ‘Possess the people in Messina here, / How innocent she died’ (Leonato, 5:1)

    Their relationship is mostly restored when Leonato reveals his innocent daughter as a prize for Claudio to marry now he is properly worthy of her.

    ‘She died, my lord, but whiles her slander lived.’ (Leonato, 5:4)
    ‘One Hero died defiled, but I do live, / And surely as I live, I am a maid.’ (Hero, 5:4)

  • Hero - Margaret

    Their relationship is a strong one at the start of the play. Margaret joins in when Hero tricks Beatrice. Hero trusts her to fetch Beatrice and start the plan.

    ‘say thou overheard’t us, / And bid her steal into the pleached bower’ (Hero, 3:1)
    ‘I’ll make her come I warrant you, presently.’ (Margaret, 3:1)

    The relationship is still strong. Margaret allows Borachio to call her “Hero” whilst in Hero’s chamber. However, she has no idea that this is part of a plan and she is being used to ruin Hero.

    ‘she leans me out at her mistress’ chamber window, bids me a thousand times good night’ (Borachio about Margaret, 3:3)

    Their relationship is very strong on the morning of Hero’s wedding. Margaret praises Hero’s dress and teases her about the wedding night. Margaret is unaware that her actions last night are about to cause Hero so much harm.

    ’Twill be heavier soon by the weight of a man.’ (Margaret, 3:4)
    ‘There thou prick’st her with a thistle.’ (Hero, 3:4)

    Their relationship continues to be strong and Margaret’s name is cleared by Borachio. No one blames her for what happened and she joins Hero and the other women in Leonato’s plan.

    ‘But Margaret was in some fault for this, / Although against her will as it appears, / In the true course of all the question.’ (Leonato, 5:4)

Claudio

  • Claudio - Hero

    Their relationship is fairly strong in Act 1 as Claudio believes his feelings for Hero have deepened since he came back from war. However, Claudio does not know Hero well and has a very ideal image of her.

    ‘I am yours for the walk, and especially when I walk away.’ (Hero to Don Pedro, who is pretending to be Claudio, 2:1)
    ‘Lady, as you are mine, I am yours: I give away myself for you, and dote upon the exchange.’ (Claudio, 2:1)

    Their relationship is badly damaged after Act 3 Scene 2, when Claudio believes Hero is being unfaithful. He sees the servant Margaret with Borachio but is easily convinced that it is Hero. Hero knows nothing of this and is getting ready for her wedding.

    ‘in the congregation, where I should wed, there will I shame her.’ (Claudio, 3:2)
    ‘God give me joy to wear it, for my heart is exceeding heavy.’ (Hero, 3:4)

    Their relationship is destroyed at the wedding in Act 4 Scene 1 when Claudio publicly shames Hero. Hero faints in shock when wrongly accused of being unfaithful.

    ‘For thee I’ll lock up all the gates of love’ (Claudio, 4:1)
    ‘Oh God defend me, how am I beset! / What kind of catechising call you this?’ (Hero, 4:1)

    There is hope for their relationship in Act 5 Scene 1, when Claudio hears Borachio’s confession. He realises that Hero is innocent and that he was wrong in shaming her.

    ‘Sweet Hero, now thy image doth appear / In the rare semblance that I loved it first.’ (Claudio, 5:1)

    Their relationship is stronger at the end of the play than at the beginning. When Hero is revealed to be alive in Act 5 Scene 4, their love can now be based on something deeper than attraction.

    ‘Give me your hand before this holy friar, / I am your husband if you like of me.’ (Claudio, 5:4)
    ‘One Hero died defiled, but I do live, / And surely as I live, I am a maid.’ (Hero, 5:4)

  • Claudio - Don Pedro

    Their relationship is very strong at the start of the play. Don Pedro has honoured Claudio for bravery and Claudio speaks openly to him about his feelings for Hero.

    ‘How sweetly you do minister to love’ (Claudio, 1:1)
    ‘to her father will I break, / And the conclusion is, she shall be thine’ (Don Pedro, 4:1)

    The relationship is weakened temporarily in Act 2 Scene 1 when Claudio believes Don John and thinks Don Pedro is in love with Hero. For a brief moment, Claudio thinks their friendship is over.

    ‘Tis certain so, the prince woos for himself. / Friendship is constant in all other things, / Save in the office and affairs of love’ (Claudio to Benedick, 2:1)
    ‘Why how now, count, wherefore are you sad?’ (Don Pedro to Claudio, 2:1)

    Their relationship gets stronger when Claudio realises his mistake. They work together to trick Benedick into loving Beatrice and enjoy teasing him when it works.

    ‘See you where Benedick hath hid himself?’ (Don Pedro, 2:3)
    ‘Oh very well, my lord: the music endeth, / We’ll fit the kid-fox with a pennyworth.’ (Claudio, 2:3)

    Their relationship is still quite strong when Don Pedro and Claudio are both tricked into thinking Hero is unfaithful. Don Pedro feels bad that he arranged such a bad marriage for his friend.

    ‘I stand dishonoured that have gone about / To link my dear friend to a common stale.’ (Don Pedro, 4:1)
    ‘Sweet prince, you learn me noble thankfulness: / There Leonato, take her back again.’ (Claudio, 4:1)

    Their relationship is strengthened at the end of the play when they realise Don John’s deception and promise Leonato to make things right.

    ‘Come let us hence, and put on other weeds, / And then to Leonato’s we will go.’ (Don Pedro, 5:4)
    ‘And Hymen now with luckier issue speeds, / Than this for whom we rendered up this woe.’ (Claudio, 5:4)

Leonato

  • Leonato - Hero

    The relationship is very strong at the start of the play. Hero is Leonato’s only child and he is her only parent. He cares for her and she is obedient to him.

    ‘Daughter, remember what I told you: if the prince do solicit you in that kind, you know your answer.’ (Leonato, 2:1)

    Their relationship takes a shocking turn at Hero’s wedding when Leonato believes everything the prince and Claudio say and he rejects her, wishing she was dead.

    ‘if they speak but truth of her, / These hands shall tear her’ (Leonato, 4:1)
    ‘Refuse me, hate me, torture me to death.’ (Hero, 4:1)

    Leonato admits that he has more faith in his daughter and challenges Claudio to a duel for disgracing her.

    ‘My soul doth tell me, Hero is belied, / And that shall Claudio know, so shall the prince, / And all of them that this dishonour her.’ (Leonato, 5:1)

    Hero’s innocence is revealed and Leonato makes sure Claudio earns his right to marry his daughter.

    ‘Possess the people in Messina here, / How innocent she died’ (Leonato, 5:1)

    Their relationship is mostly restored when Leonato reveals his innocent daughter as a prize for Claudio to marry now he is properly worthy of her.

    ‘She died, my lord, but whiles her slander lived.’ (Leonato, 5:4)
    ‘One Hero died defiled, but I do live, / And surely as I live, I am a maid.’ (Hero, 5:4)

  • Leonato - Beatrice

    Their relationship is strong at the start of the play. Leonato cares for Beatrice as her uncle and guardian. He praises her character and spirit but worries she’ll remain unmarried.

    ‘There’s little of the melancholy in her, my lord, she is never sad, but when she sleeps’ (Leonato, 2:1)
    ‘No, uncle, I’ll none: Adam’s sons are my brethren, and truly I hold it a sin to match in my kindred.’ (Beatrice, 2:1)

    Their relationship is still strong and Leonato takes an active part in Don Pedro’s plan to bring Beatrice and Benedick together, wanting to see her happy with Benedick.

    ‘I cannot tell what to think of it, but that she loves him with an enraged affection, it is past the infinite of thought.’ (Leonato, 2:3)

    Their relationship is tested in Act 4 Scene 1 when Leonato rejects Hero in front of the whole church and says he wishes her dead.

    ‘Dead I think, help, uncle! / Hero, why Hero: uncle: Signor Benedick: friar!’ (Beatrice, 4:1)
    ‘Do not live, Hero, do not ope thine eyes’ (Leonato, 4:1)

    Their relationship is mostly restored when Leonato is happy to give his blessing for Benedick to marry Beatrice and once Beatrice knows Hero is okay.

    ‘My heart is with your liking.’ (Leonato, 5:4)

  • Leonato - Don Pedro

    Their relationship is strong at the start of the play. The two men know each other well and respect each other. Leonato goes out of his way to welcome Don Pedro into his home as a guest. He is eager to make a good impression on the prince.

    ‘Never came trouble to my house in the likeness of your grace: for trouble being gone, comfort should remain: but when you depart from me, sorry abides, and happiness takes his leave.’ (Leonato, 1:1)
    ‘be happy, lady, for you are like an honourable father.’ (Don Pedro to Hero, 1:1)

    The relationship becomes stronger when Don Pedro asks Leonato to join his plan to trick Benedick. Leonato is more than happy to take part.

    ‘My lord, I am for you, though it cost me ten nights’ watchings.’ (Leonato, 2:1)
    ‘Come hither, Leonato, what was it you told me of today, that your niece Beatrice was in love with Signor Benedick?’ (Don Pedro, 2:3)

    The relationship is weakened badly at the wedding. Leonato is stunned when Don Pedro joins Claudio in publicly shaming his daughter.

    ‘Sweet prince, why speak not you?’ (Leonato, 4:1)
    ‘What should I speak? / I stand dishonoured that have gone about / To link my dear friend to a common stale.’ (Don Pedro, 4:1)

    The relationship is weaker than ever in Act 5 Scene 1 when Leonato accuses Don Pedro and Claudio of killing Hero. Don Pedro has lost respect for Leonato and refuses to accept responsibility.

    ‘Some haste, my lord! Well, fare you well, my lord, / Are you so hasty now? Well, all is one.’ (Leonato, 5:1)
    ‘You say not right, old man.’ (Don Pedro, 5:1)

    Their relationship is mostly restored when Leonato realises Don Pedro was tricked by Don John. Don Pedro will do anything to make up for what has happened.

    ‘Here stand a pair of honourable men, / A third is fled that had a hand in it’ (Leonato, 5:1)
    ‘yet to satisfy this good old man, / I would bend under any heavy weight, / That he’ll enjoin me to.’ (Don Pedro, 5:1)

Don Pedro

  • Don Pedro - Don John

    Their relationship is strained at the start of the play. Don John is Don Pedro’s illegitimate half-brother and has recently been reunited with him after a disagreement, although he is still very bitter towards him.

    'You have of late stood out against your brother, and he hath take you newly into his grace ’ (Conrad to Don John, 1:3)
    ‘I had rather be a canker in a hedge, than a rose in his grace’ (Don John, 1:3)

    Their relationship grows weaker as Don John causes trouble between Don Pedro and Claudio. He tells Claudio that Don Pedro loves Hero and is wooing her for himself.

    ’Signor, you are very near my brother in his love, he is enamoured on Hero, I pray you dissuade him from her, she is no equal for his birth’ (Don John, 2:1)

    Their relationship is weakened even more when Don John deceives Don Pedro and Claudio into thinking Hero has been unfaithful, although Don Pedro seems to trust him and to believe what he shows them.

    ‘if you will follow me, I will show you enough’ (Don John, 3:2)

    Don John appears supportive of his brother when they shame Hero at the wedding. Don Pedro thinks Don John has helped his friend avoid a bad marriage and is unaware he has planned the whole cruel deception.

    ‘Myself, my brother, and this grieved count / Did see her, hear her, at that hour last night’ (Don Pedro, 4:1)
    ‘Fie, fie, they are / Not to be named my lord, not to be spoke of’ (Don John, 4:1)

    The relationship is completely destroyed when it becomes clear what Don John has done. Don Pedro is horrified to discover his brother's crime and they all learn of Don John’s capture in the final scene of the play.

    ‘He is composed and framed of treachery, / And fled he is upon this villainy.’ (Don Pedro, 5:1)

  • Don Pedro - Leonato

    Their relationship is strong at the start of the play. The two men know each other well and respect each other. Leonato goes out of his way to welcome Don Pedro into his home as a guest. He is eager to make a good impression on the prince.

    ‘Never came trouble to my house in the likeness of your grace: for trouble being gone, comfort should remain: but when you depart from me, sorry abides, and happiness takes his leave.’ (Leonato, 1:1)
    ‘be happy, lady, for you are like an honourable father.’ (Don Pedro to Hero, 1:1)

    The relationship becomes stronger when Don Pedro asks Leonato to join his plan to trick Benedick. Leonato is more than happy to take part.

    ‘My lord, I am for you, though it cost me ten nights’ watchings.’ (Leonato, 2:1)
    ‘Come hither, Leonato, what was it you told me of today, that your niece Beatrice was in love with Signor Benedick?’ (Don Pedro, 2:3)

    The relationship is weakened badly at the wedding. Leonato is stunned when Don Pedro joins Claudio in publicly shaming his daughter.

    ‘Sweet prince, why speak not you?’ (Leonato, 4:1)
    ‘What should I speak? / I stand dishonoured that have gone about / To link my dear friend to a common stale.’ (Don Pedro, 4:1)

    The relationship is weaker than ever in Act 5 Scene 1 when Leonato accuses Don Pedro and Claudio of killing Hero. Don Pedro has lost respect for Leonato and refuses to accept responsibility.

    ‘Some haste, my lord! Well, fare you well, my lord, / Are you so hasty now? Well, all is one.’ (Leonato, 5:1)
    ‘You say not right, old man.’ (Don Pedro, 5:1)

    Their relationship is mostly restored when Leonato realises Don Pedro was tricked by Don John. Don Pedro will do anything to make up for what has happened.

    ‘Here stand a pair of honourable men, / A third is fled that had a hand in it’ (Leonato, 5:1)
    ‘yet to satisfy this good old man, / I would bend under any heavy weight, / That he’ll enjoin me to.’ (Don Pedro, 5:1)

  • Don Pedro - Claudio

    Their relationship is very strong at the start of the play. Don Pedro has honoured Claudio for bravery and Claudio speaks openly to him about his feelings for Hero.

    ‘How sweetly you do minister to love’ (Claudio, 1:1)
    ‘to her father will I break, / And the conclusion is, she shall be thine’ (Don Pedro, 4:1)

    The relationship is weakened temporarily in Act 2 Scene 1 when Claudio believes Don John and thinks Don Pedro is in love with Hero. For a brief moment, Claudio thinks their friendship is over.

    ‘Tis certain so, the prince woos for himself. / Friendship is constant in all other things, / Save in the office and affairs of love’ (Claudio to Benedick, 2:1)
    ‘Why how now, count, wherefore are you sad?’ (Don Pedro to Claudio, 2:1)

    Their relationship gets stronger when Claudio realises his mistake. They work together to trick Benedick into loving Beatrice and enjoy teasing him when it works.

    ‘See you where Benedick hath hid himself?’ (Don Pedro, 2:3)
    ‘Oh very well, my lord: the music endeth, / We’ll fit the kid-fox with a pennyworth.’ (Claudio, 2:3)

    Their relationship is still quite strong when Don Pedro and Claudio are both tricked into thinking Hero is unfaithful. Don Pedro feels bad that he arranged such a bad marriage for his friend.

    ‘I stand dishonoured that have gone about / To link my dear friend to a common stale.’ (Don Pedro, 4:1)
    ‘Sweet prince, you learn me noble thankfulness: / There Leonato, take her back again.’ (Claudio, 4:1)

    Their relationship is strengthened at the end of the play when they realise Don John’s deception and promise Leonato to make things right.

    ‘Come let us hence, and put on other weeds, / And then to Leonato’s we will go.’ (Don Pedro, 5:4)
    ‘And Hymen now with luckier issue speeds, / Than this for whom we rendered up this woe.’ (Claudio, 5:4)

  • Don Pedro - Benedick

    Their relationship is strong at the the start of the play. Benedick has fought for Don Pedro and is loyal to him. They are comfortable in each other's company and Don Pedro finds Benedick entertaining.

    ‘I shall see thee, ere I die, look pale with love.’ (Don Pedro, 1:1)
    ‘Will your grace command me any service to the world’s end?’ (Benedick, 2:1)

    Their relationship is still strong. Don Pedro comes up with a plan to make Benedick fall in love with Beatrice. He appreciates Benedick’s strong points.

    ‘Benedick is not the unhopefullest husband that I know: thus far can I praise him, he is of noble strain, of approved valour and confirmed honesty.’ (Don Pedro, 2:1)

    Their relationship is weakened when Don Pedro joins Claudio to shame Hero at the wedding. Benedick is confused. He knows Don Pedro is honourable and suspects he has been tricked by Don John.

    ‘Two of them have the very bent of honour, / And if their wisdoms be misled in this, / The practice of it lives in John the bastard’ (Benedick, 4:1)

    Benedick refuses to joke with Don Pedro any more and ends his friendship with him for his part in shaming Hero. Don Pedro thinks Benedick is being foolish.

    ‘my lord, for your many courtesies I thank you: I must discontinue your company’ (Benedick, 5:1)
    ‘What a pretty thing man is, when he goes in his doublet and hose, and leave off his wit!’ (Don Pedro, 5:1)

    Their relationship is restored at the end of the play when Don Pedro realises his mistake and all is forgotten. Don Pedro teases Benedick about getting married. Benedick notices a sadness in him and tries to raise his spirits about Don John.

    ‘How dost thou, Benedick the married man?’ (Don Pedro, 5:4)
    ‘Think not on him till tomorrow, I’ll devise thee brave punishments for him’ (Benedick, 5:4)

Don John

  • Don John - Don Pedro

    Their relationship is strained at the start of the play. Don John is Don Pedro’s illegitimate half-brother and has recently been reunited with him after a disagreement, although he is still very bitter towards him.

    'You have of late stood out against your brother, and he hath take you newly into his grace ’ (Conrad to Don John, 1:3)
    ‘I had rather be a canker in a hedge, than a rose in his grace’ (Don John, 1:3)

    Their relationship grows weaker as Don John causes trouble between Don Pedro and Claudio. He tells Claudio that Don Pedro loves Hero and is wooing her for himself.

    ’Signor, you are very near my brother in his love, he is enamoured on Hero, I pray you dissuade him from her, she is no equal for his birth’ (Don John, 2:1)

    Their relationship is weakened even more when Don John deceives Don Pedro and Claudio into thinking Hero has been unfaithful, although Don Pedro seems to trust him and to believe what he shows them.

    ‘if you will follow me, I will show you enough’ (Don John, 3:2)

    Don John appears supportive of his brother when they shame Hero at the wedding. Don Pedro thinks Don John has helped his friend avoid a bad marriage and is unaware he has planned the whole cruel deception.

    ‘Myself, my brother, and this grieved count / Did see her, hear her, at that hour last night’ (Don Pedro, 4:1)
    ‘Fie, fie, they are / Not to be named my lord, not to be spoke of’ (Don John, 4:1)

    The relationship is completely destroyed when it becomes clear what Don John has done. Don Pedro is horrified to discover his brother's crime and they all learn of Don John’s capture in the final scene of the play.

    ‘He is composed and framed of treachery, / And fled he is upon this villainy.’ (Don Pedro, 5:1)

  • Don John - Borachio

    Their relationship is fairly strong at the start of the play. Borachio has supported Don John against his brother. Don John uses Borachio like a spy, taking useful information that he’s overheard.

    ‘I can give you intelligence of an intended marriage.’ (Borachio, 1:3)
    ‘Will it serve for any model to build mischief on?’ (Don John, 1:3)

    Their relationship gets stronger when Borachio suggests a plan that will ruin all the people that Don John hates. Don John is thrilled and promises him a reward.

    ‘be cunning in the working this, and thy fee is a thousand ducats.’ (Don John, 2:2)
    ‘Be you constant in the accusation, and my cunning shall not shame me.’ (Borachio, 2:2)

    Their relationship does not appear as strong in Act 3 Scene 1 when Borachio drunkenly brags about making money from his dealings with Don John.

    ‘when rich villains have need of poor ones, poor ones may make what price they will.’ (Borachio, 3:3)

    Their relationship is shown to be weak in Act 4 Scene 2 when Borachio betrays Don John, calling him a ‘villain’. When Don John hears about Borachio’s arrest, he runs away.

    ‘This man said, sir, that Don John the prince’s brother was a villain.’ (Seacoal about Borachio, 4:2)
    ‘Prince John is this morning secretly stolen away’ (The Sexton to Seacoal, 4:2)

    The relationship is destroyed at the end of the play. Borachio humbly confesses his crime but says Don John caused him to do it.

    ‘Don John your brother incensed me to slander the Lady Hero’ (Borachio, 5:4)

Margaret

  • Margaret - Borachio

    In Act 2 Scene 2, Borachio tells Don John that Margaret likes him. However, he only seems interested in using her as part of a plot to shame her mistress, Hero.

    ‘I told your lordship a year since, how much I am in the favour of Margaret, the waiting gentlewoman to Hero.’ (Borachio, 2:2)

    In Act 3 Scene 3, Borachio brags that he has used Margaret to ruin the wedding between Claudio and Hero and seems pleased with himself.

    ‘I have tonight wooed Margaret, the Lady Hero’s gentlewoman, by the name of Hero’. (Borachio, 3:3)

    Borachio shows some genuine respect for Margaret when he confesses to his crimes in Act 5 Scene 1, admitting that she knew nothing about the plot or his intentions.

    ‘No by my soul she was not, / Nor knew not what she did when she spoke to me, / But always hath been just and virtuous / In anything that I do know by her.’ (Borachio, 5:1)

  • Margaret - Hero

    Their relationship is a strong one at the start of the play. Margaret joins in when Hero tricks Beatrice. Hero trusts her to fetch Beatrice and start the plan.

    ‘say thou overheard’t us, / And bid her steal into the pleached bower’ (Hero, 3:1)
    ‘I’ll make her come I warrant you, presently.’ (Margaret, 3:1)

    The relationship is still strong. Margaret allows Borachio to call her “Hero” whilst in Hero’s chamber. However, she has no idea that this is part of a plan and she is being used to ruin Hero.

    ‘she leans me out at her mistress’ chamber window, bids me a thousand times good night’ (Borachio about Margaret, 3:3)

    Their relationship is very strong on the morning of Hero’s wedding. Margaret praises Hero’s dress and teases her about the wedding night. Margaret is unaware that her actions last night are about to cause Hero so much harm.

    ’Twill be heavier soon by the weight of a man.’ (Margaret, 3:4)
    ‘There thou prick’st her with a thistle.’ (Hero, 3:4)

    Their relationship continues to be strong and Margaret’s name is cleared by Borachio. No one blames her for what happened and she joins Hero and the other women in Leonato’s plan.

    ‘But Margaret was in some fault for this, / Although against her will as it appears, / In the true course of all the question.’ (Leonato, 5:4)

Borachio

  • Borachio - Margaret

    In Act 2 Scene 2, Borachio tells Don John that Margaret likes him. However, he only seems interested in using her as part of a plot to shame her mistress, Hero.

    ‘I told your lordship a year since, how much I am in the favour of Margaret, the waiting gentlewoman to Hero.’ (Borachio, 2:2)

    In Act 3 Scene 3, Borachio brags that he has used Margaret to ruin the wedding between Claudio and Hero and seems pleased with himself.

    ‘I have tonight wooed Margaret, the Lady Hero’s gentlewoman, by the name of Hero’. (Borachio, 3:3)

    Borachio shows some genuine respect for Margaret when he confesses to his crimes in Act 5 Scene 1, admitting that she knew nothing about the plot or his intentions.

    ‘No by my soul she was not, / Nor knew not what she did when she spoke to me, / But always hath been just and virtuous / In anything that I do know by her.’ (Borachio, 5:1)

  • Borachio - Don John

    Their relationship is fairly strong at the start of the play. Borachio has supported Don John against his brother. Don John uses Borachio like a spy, taking useful information that he’s overheard.

    ‘I can give you intelligence of an intended marriage.’ (Borachio, 1:3)
    ‘Will it serve for any model to build mischief on?’ (Don John, 1:3)

    Their relationship gets stronger when Borachio suggests a plan that will ruin all the people that Don John hates. Don John is thrilled and promises him a reward.

    ‘be cunning in the working this, and thy fee is a thousand ducats.’ (Don John, 2:2)
    ‘Be you constant in the accusation, and my cunning shall not shame me.’ (Borachio, 2:2)

    Their relationship does not appear as strong in Act 3 Scene 1 when Borachio drunkenly brags about making money from his dealings with Don John.

    ‘when rich villains have need of poor ones, poor ones may make what price they will.’ (Borachio, 3:3)

    Their relationship is shown to be weak in Act 4 Scene 2 when Borachio betrays Don John, calling him a ‘villain’. When Don John hears about Borachio’s arrest, he runs away.

    ‘This man said, sir, that Don John the prince’s brother was a villain.’ (Seacoal about Borachio, 4:2)
    ‘Prince John is this morning secretly stolen away’ (The Sexton to Seacoal, 4:2)

    The relationship is destroyed at the end of the play. Borachio humbly confesses his crime but says Don John caused him to do it.

    ‘Don John your brother incensed me to slander the Lady Hero’ (Borachio, 5:4)

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