Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare

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Act III, Scene 5 Summary and Analysis

New Character: Messenger: calls Leonato to the wedding.

The scene takes place in the hail in Leonato's house. Dogberry and Verges visit Leonato just as he is about to leave for the wedding. They chatter, trying Leonato's patience. Finally they tell him that they apprehended two suspicious characters who they want to have examined that morning before him. Leonato instructs them to take the examination and bring it to him. Leonato leaves to give Hero in marriage. Dogberry instructs Verges to send for Francis Seacoal, the sexton, to write down the examination which they will take at the jail.

Shakespeare provides us with the most suspenseful moment of the play when Dogberry's tediousness and Leonato's impatience collide to prevent the disclosure of Don John's villainy before the wedding. Whatever the matter is, Leonato simply doesn't want to hear it. Ironically, he can't possibly imagine that anything these patronizing and tangential commoners could say would be of any interest to him. The dialogue is painfully funny:

Act III 65 Leonato: Neighbors,...

(The entire section is 366 words.)