It is obvious even before the men arrive, that Beatrice and Benedick have had a relationship before the men went off to war. Beatrice questions the messenger in a playful manner which may sound insulting but in fact covers her true feeling for him. Leonato even tells the messenger, "You must not, sir, mistake my niece. There is a kind of merry war betwixt Signor Benedick and her. They never meet but there's a skirmish of wit between them." We see this immediately when the two meet later in the scene. They play verbal one-upmanship. On both sides, these verbal games hide their true feelng for each other.
The family relationship of Leonato, Hero, and Beatrice is also established. The cousins are close, best friends, and life in Messina seems to be a good one.
Claudio declares his love for Hero although until the end of the play he really...
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