Margaret helps dress Hero for her wedding, complimenting her on her fashion and teasing her about soon being the “heavier for a husband.” (3.4.35) Beatrice enters, claiming to have a cold, and Margaret teases her as well. Accusing her of being in love, Margaret offers her the medicinal herb “Carduus Benedictus,” as a cure. Ursula arrives to fetch Hero to her wedding.
Margaret probably means to suggest that Hero will become pregnant, but what happens at the wedding makes her joke an ominous double-entendre: Hero will indeed be heavier (i.e. sadder) after her wedding.In the Renaissance, passionate love was often compared to, or even considered to be, a disease. Margaret’s offer of the medicinal herb “Carduus Benedictus,” is also a sly reference to Benedick’s name.