Illustration of Hero wearing a mask

Much Ado About Nothing

by William Shakespeare

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Act 5, Scene 1 Summary

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Last Updated February 6, 2023.

Outside Leonato’s house, Antonio, Leonato’s brother, tries to console him in his grief. Leonato vows to take revenge on those who slandered Hero.

Claudio and Don Pedro encounter the two brothers, who both challenge CLaudio for his role in Hero’s undoing. Don Pedro stands up for Claudio, citing the evidence of her wrongdoing.

Leonato and Antonio leave, and Benedick enters.

When Benedick, too, challenges Claudio, he and Don Pedro assume he is jesting.

Benedick declares that he is serious about his challenge, and he adds that Don John has fled and that Hero has died of grief because of Claudio and Don Pedro.

Dogberry and his company arrive, dragging along Borachio and Conrade. Borachio admits to his involvement in the plot to defame Hero, and Claudio and Don Pedro understand that they have been fooled.

Leonato and Antonio return, and Borachio officially admits his guilt. Leonato declares that Claudio and Don Pedro shares in the blame as well, and he asks them to publicly mourn Hero’s death. He also makes Claudio agree to marry his niece the following morning. 

Claudio and Don Pedro accept these requests, and Leonato leaves to interrogate Margaret.

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Act 4, Scene 2 Summary

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Act 5, Scene 2 Summary