Act 5, Scene 4

  1. Enter Leonato, Benedick, Beatrice, Margaret, Ursula, Antonio, Friar Francis and Hero. 

  2. Friar:

    Did I not tell you she was innocent?

  3. Leonato:

    So are the Prince and Claudio, who accused her
    Upon the error that you heard debated.
    But Margaret was in some fault for this,
    Although against her will, as it appears
    In the true course of all the question

  4. Antonio:

    Well, I am glad that all things sort so well.

  5. Benedick:

    And so am I, being else by faith enforced
    To call young Claudio to a reckoning for it.

  6. Leonato:

    Well, daughter, and you gentlewomen all,      [10]
    Withdraw into a chamber by yourselves,
    And when I send for you, come hither masked.
    The Prince and Claudio promised by this hour
    To visit me. You know your office, brother,
    You must be father to your brother’s daughter,
    And give her to young Claudio.

  7. The women exit.

  8. Antonio:

    Which I will do with confirmed countenance.

  9. Benedick:

    Friar, I must entreat your pains, I think.

  10. Friar:

    To do what signor?

  11. Benedick:

    To bind me, or undo me, one of them.         [20]
    Signor Leonato, truth it is, good signor,
    Your niece regards me with an eye of favour.

  12. Leonato:

    That eye my daughter lent her, 'tis most true.

  13. Benedick:

    And I do with an eye of love requite her.

  14. Leonato:

    The sight whereof I think you had from me,      [25]
    From Claudio, and the Prince. But what’s your will?

  15. Benedick:

    Your answer sir is enigmatical.
    But for my will, my will is, your good will
    May stand with ours, this day to be conjoined
    In the state of honourable marriage.         [30] 
    In which, good Friar, I shall desire your help.

  16. Leonato:

    My heart is with your liking.

  17.                             And my help.
    Here comes the Prince and Claudio. 

  18. Enter Don Pedro and Claudio with attendants.

  19. Don Pedro:

    Good morrow to this fair assembly.

  20. Leonato:

    Good morrow Prince, good morrow Claudio.   [35]                
    We here attend you. Are you yet determined
    Today to marry with my brother’s daughter?

  21. Claudio:

    I’ll hold my mind, were she an Ethiope.

  22. Leonato:

    Call her forth brother; here’s the friar ready.

  23. [Exit Antonio]

  24. Don Pedro:

    Good morrow Benedick. Why, what’s the matter  [40]
    That you have such a February face,
    So full of frost, of storm, and cloudiness?

  25. Claudio:

    I think he thinks upon the savage bull.
    Tush, fear not, man, we’ll tip thy horns with gold,
    And all Europa shall rejoice at thee,                 [45]
    As once Europa did at lusty Jove,
    When he would play the noble beast in love.

  26. Benedick:

    Bull Jove sir, had an amiable low,
    And some such strange bull leaped your father’s cow,
    And got a calf in that same noble feat                [50]
    Much like to you, for you have just his bleat.

  27. Claudio:

    For this I owe you. 

    Enter Antonio, Hero, Beatrice, Margaret, and
    Ursula, the women wearing masks. 

                       Here comes other reck'nings.
    Which is the lady I must seize upon?

  28. Antonio:

    [Leading Hero forward.]
    This same is she, and I do give you her.

  29. Claudio:

    Why then she’s mine. Sweet, let me see your face. [55]

  30. Leonato:

    No, that you shall not till you take her hand
    Before this friar, and swear to marry her.

  31. Claudio:

    Give me your hand before this holy friar,
    I am your husband if you like of me.

  32. Hero:

    [Unmasking] And when I lived I was your other wife,  [60]
    And when you loved, you were my other husband.

  33. Claudio:

    Another Hero!

  34. Hero:

                      Nothing certainer.
    One Hero died defiled , but I do live,
    And surely as I live, I am a maid.

  35. Don Pedro:

    The former Hero! Hero that is dead!

  36. Leonato:

    She died, my lord, but whiles her slander lived.

  37. Friar:

    All this amazement can I qualify,
    When, after that the holy rites are ended,
    I’ll tell you largely of fair Hero’s death.
    Meantime let wonder seem familiar,    [70]
    And to the chapel let us presently.

  38. Benedick:

    Soft and fair , Friar. - Which is Beatrice?

  39. Beatrice:

    [Unmasking] I answer to that name. What is your will?

  40. Benedick:

    Do not you love me?

  41. Beatrice:

    Why no, no more than reason.   [75]

  42. Benedick:

    Why, then your uncle, and the Prince, and Claudio
    Have been deceived, they swore you did.

  43. Beatrice:

    Do not you love me?

  44. Benedick:

    Troth no, no more than reason.

  45. Beatrice:

    Why, then my cousin, Margaret and Ursula   [80]
    Are much deceived, for they did swear you did.

  46. Benedick:

    They swore that you were almost sick for me.

  47. Beatrice:

    They swore that you were well-nigh dead for me.

  48. Benedick:

    ’Tis no such matter. Then you do not love me?

  49. Beatrice:

    No, truly, but in friendly recompense.  [85]

  50. Leonato:

    Come cousin, I am sure you love the gentleman.

  51. Claudio:

    And I’ll be sworn upon’t that he loves her,
    For here’s a paper written in his hand,
    A halting sonnet of his own pure brain,
    Fashioned  to Beatrice.

  52. Hero:

                                And here’s another,    [90]
    Writ in my cousin’s hand, stolen from her pocket,
    Containing her affection unto Benedick.

  53. Benedick:

    A miracle! Here’s our own hands against our hearts. Come,
    I will have thee, but, by this light I take thee for pity.

  54. Beatrice:

    I would not deny you, but by this good day I yield upon [95]
    great persuasion, and partly to save your life, for I was
    told you were in a consumption.

  55. Benedick:

    Peace! I will stop your mouth.    [Kisses her]

  56. Don Pedro:

    How dost thou, Benedick, the married man?

  57. Benedick:

    I’ll tell thee what, Prince. A college of wit-crackers  [100]
    cannot flout me out of my humour. Dost thou think
    I care for a satire or an epigram? No, if a man will be
    beaten with brains, ’a shall wear nothing handsome
    about him. In brief, since I do purpose to marry, I will
    think nothing to any purpose that the world can say   [105]
    against it, And therefore never flout at me for what I
    have said against it. For man is a giddy thing, and this is
    my conclusion. For thy part Claudio, I did think to have
    beaten thee, but in that thou art like to be my kinsman,
    live unbruised, and love my cousin.                          [110]

  58. Claudio:

    I had well hoped thou wouldst have denied Beatrice, that
    I might have cudgelled thee out of thy single life, to make
    thee a double-dealer, which out of question thou wilt be if
    my cousin do not look exceeding narrowly to thee.

  59. Benedick:

    Come, come, we are friends. Let’s have a dance ere we [115]
    are married, that we may lighten our own hearts and
    our wives’ heels.

  60. Leonato:

    We’ll have dancing afterward.

  61. Benedick:

    First, of my word, therefore play music. Prince, thou art
    sad. Get thee a wife, get thee a wife!
    There is no staff   [120]
    more reverent than one tipped with horn.

  62. Enter Messenger.

  63. Messenger:

    My lord, your brother John is ta’en in flight,
    And brought with armed men back to Messina.

  64. Benedick:

    Think not on him till tomorrow. I’ll devise thee brave
    punishments for him. Strike up, pipers!             [125]

  65. They dance.


Claudio is prepared to marry Hero's 'supposed' cousin, whilst Benedick asks for the Friar's help in making Beatrice his wife. Claudio is united with his new bride who is then unmasked as the real Hero. Then Benedick asks for Beatrice who also unmasks herself and the pair finally profess their love for one another. By the end, all are reunited and a dance ends the play.

1. What character partnerships are formed in this scene, both friendship and marriage?