Much Ado About Nothing is one of Shakespeare's most popular comedies. Set in Italy, it focuses on two coupes, Hero and Claudio and Beatrice and Benedick. The former couple are sweet innocents, while the latter are more likely to fight than try to woo one another (in fact, both are in love with one another without knowing—or be willing to admit—it). The villain is Don John, the illegitimate brother of the Don Pedro, the amiable Prince of Aragon.
Ill-tempered, Don John comes between Hero and Claudio when he makes the latter believe the former has been untrue to him. Claudio slanders Hero in public. Aghast at Claudio's cruelty to her friend, Beatrice demands Benedick kill him. However, Claudio is Benedick's friend, and even though he is in love with Beatrice and craves her favor, Benedick hesitates initially.
In the end, they all arrange to have Hero fake her death, then "return to life" once Claudio proves remorseful. The play ends with both couples marrying, as comedies tend to do. There is also a subplot with the clownish constable Dogberry, who apprehends the villainous Don John despite his foolishness and hot air.