Much Ado About Nothing

Much Ado About Nothing


William Shakespeare

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Much Ado About Nothing: Act 3, Scene 5 Summary & Analysis

Read our modern English translation of this scene.
Dogberry and Verges arrive at Leonato’s house on the day of the wedding, intending to warn him about the treachery of Don John and Borachio. Dogberry wastes time trying to make himself look better in front of Leonato. He tries to look clever and aristocratic by using fancy words, often incorrectly, and by insulting Verges for being old and dull-witted. Because of this, he never gets around to mentioning the deception he has uncovered. Leonato, in a rush to prepare for the wedding, loses his patience. He sends Dogberry and Verges off with glasses of wine, instructing them to examine the criminals themselves.
Dogberry is trying to impress his superior Leonato, who is the Governor of Messina. Ironically, this prevents him from doing Leonato a real favor: saving his daughter from slander and humiliation. Dogberry mocks Verges for being old. Leonato will later be mocked for the same reason—the old come to seem ridiculous in a play as focused on youth and love as Much Ado About Nothing.
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