Leonato’s brother Antonio meets him in the garden, and tells him that one of his men has overheard something interesting: that Claudio is in love with Hero, and intends to propose that night at the dance. Leonato is suspicious of the news, and decides not to take it too seriously before it happens. Still, he instructs Antonio to let Hero know, so that she’s better prepared for the proposal if it comes. Leonato’s relatives walk up and down the garden, making preparations for the feast.
The preparations made by Antonio and Leonato suggest the theatrical nature of love. Like an actress, Hero is going to be coached on the situation before it happens, in parallel to Claudio and Don Pedro’s schemes. Suggestively, these preparations are made right beside the food preparation for the feast—love can be stage-managed like a party.