What is the backdrop for the arrival of Don Pedro and his men in Much Ado About Nothing? Why is this significant to the plot of the play?

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Don Pedro and his men returning from war is significant to the plot of Much Ado About Nothing for many reasons. A few other answers on here have already dealt with Don Pedro’s war against his bastard brother Don Jon, but the return from the battlefield also acts as a catalyst for the romantic action of the play.

There are key hints throughout the play that Beatrice and Benedick share a long history with one another. In the opening scene, she asks: “I pray you, is Signior Mountanto returned from the wars or no?” (1.1). Mountanto is an unexplained nickname she has for him. Later on, when Don Pedro mentions Benedick’s heart, Beatrice replies: “Indeed, my lord, he lent it me awhile, 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” (2.1). Beatrice seems to be insinuating that Benedick declared his love to her once before, but pulled away when she requited it. The war has been an impediment on their relationship. Now...

(The entire section contains 5 answers and 1394 words.)

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