The bastard brother of Don Pedro, and the antagonist of the play. When the play begins, Don John has just been defeated by his brother in battle while trying to usurp him. Out of desire for revenge and a general bad attitude, Don John schemes to destroy the marriage of Hero and Claudio. He almost succeeds, but his treachery is confessed by his minions Conrade and Borachio, who have been arrested and interrogated by Dogberry and the watch. By the end of the play, he has been captured while trying to escape from Messina.
Don John Quotes in Much Ado About Nothing
The Much Ado About Nothing quotes below are all either spoken by Don John or refer to Don John. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one: Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Simon & Schuster edition of Much Ado About Nothing published in 1995.).
Act 1, Scene 3 Quotes
“I cannot be said to be a flattering honest man, it must not be denied but I am a plain-dealing villain.”
Act 3, Scene 2 Quotes
Don John Character Timeline in Much Ado About Nothing
The timeline below shows where the character Don John appears in Much Ado About Nothing. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1, Scene 1
Act 1, Scene 3
Act 2, Scene 1
...that he hasn’t “boarded [her],” (come to argue with her). (2.1.143) Benedick leaves. Meanwhile, Don John and Borachio, attempting to cause mischief, approach Claudio and pretend to mistake him for Benedick.... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 2
Act 3, Scene 2
Act 3, Scene 3
...Borachio speaking as they shelter under a roof from the rain. Borachio brags that Don John has given him a thousand ducats for convincing Claudio and Don Pedro of Hero’s betrayal.... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 5
Act 4, Scene 1
...“are our eyes our own?” (4.1.71) meaning that everything he’s said is obviously true. Don John and Don Pedro speak up in support of Claudio. Finally, Claudio accuses Hero directly. When... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 1
...Antonio calls this opinion childish, and advises him to get back at Don Pedro, Don John and Claudio instead. Leonato agrees, admitting he has come to believe his daughter was lied... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 2
Act 5, Scene 4
...Pedro. Everyone is happy that the slanders against Hero have been discredited, and that Don John has fled from Messina. Benedick takes the opportunity to ask Leonato if he can marry... (full context)