Much Ado About Nothing: Act 5, Scene 1 & 2 - Summary

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Act 5, Scene 1

      Leonato is overwhelmed by grief and confusion. His brother tries to comfort him, but Leonato states that it is easy, when you are not the one that is stricken, to tell another to ease up on his pain. Then the two brothers see Don Pedro and Claudio and pursue them. Leonato accuses them of ruining Hero's good name. He tells them that he is not too old or lacking in energy to challenge them. Before leaving, the brothers say they will have their revenge.

      Benedick appears. Don Pedro and Claudio are happy to see him. The prince is planning to leave with Claudio and assumes Benedick will be coming with them. Benedick says that because of what they have done to Hero, Benedick will no longer be traveling with them. He tells them that Hero has died and Don John has run away. Then Benedick accuses Claudio of slandering Hero and thus killing her. For this, Benedick says, he challenges Claudio to a duel. Benedick leaves, saying he will wait for Claudio's answer.

      Dogberry then appears with Verges, the watchmen, and Borachio and Conrade. Borachio admits what he has done. Don Pedro and Claudio realize their mistake and the consequences it has caused. When Leonato and his brother reappear, the prince and Claudio beg for forgiveness. Claudio says he is willing to accept any punishment from Leonato for having been the cause of Hero's death. Leonato tells Claudio to go throughout the city and claim Hero's innocence. Then Claudio needs to write a poem about Hero and sing it in front of her grave. Finally, Leonato tells Claudio that his brother has a daughter, almost the image of Hero. Leonato asks that Claudio marry his niece in place of Hero. Claudio consents to all that Leonato has demanded. Leonato then has Borachio and Conrade taken away.

Act 5, Scene 2

      Benedick is seen, attempting to write love poetry to his Beatrice. He fails miserably, deciding that he is not a writer. Beatrice appears and the two admit their love, once again, and flirt with one another. Ursula enters, announcing that Borachio has admitted his scheme.

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