A line-by-line translation

Much Ado About Nothing

Much Ado About Nothing Translation Table of Contents

Beatrice and Benedick are always squabbling. And though they swear that they hate each other, their friends feel convinced that Beatrice and Benedick are in love. Can Don Pedro and his friends plot to bring the duo together? And will the lies of Don John--Don Pedro’s jealous illegitimate brother--bring down the lovers Hero and Claudio? In Much Ado About Nothing, Shakespeare showcases some of his finest verbal wit, and balances intrigue and strife with humor and unification. The Shakescleare modern English translation of the play will help you decipher some of its most important quotes, including “For which of my bad parts didst thou first fall in love with me?”

Act 1, Scene 1

Don Pedro visits Leonato court after winning in battle. Benedick and Beatrice have a battle of wits. Claudio loves Hero.

Act 1, Scene 2

Leonato and Antonio plan a celebration. Antonio tells Leonato of a rumor that Don Pedro is planning to propose to Hero.

Act 1, Scene 3

Don John is angry at Don Pedro. Hearing about the party and Claudio's proposal, Don John plans to get revenge.

Act 2, Scene 1

Don John tells Claudio that Don Pedro loves Hero. The plan is revealed. Don Pedro wants to trick Benedick and Beatrice.

Act 2, Scene 2

Borachio and Don John plan to disrupt Claudio's wedding. Borachio will feign intimacy with Hero to tarnish her honor.

Act 2, Scene 3

Leonato, Don Pedro, and Claudio spot Benedick hiding. They make up a story of how Beatrices loves him to trick him.

Act 3, Scene 1

Hero, Margaret, and Ursula plan to play a corresponding trick on Beatrice, convincing her that Benedick loves her.

Act 3, Scene 2

Benedick appears to be a changed man. Don John enters and tells Don Pedro and Claudio that he doubts Hero's chastity.

Act 3, Scene 3

Watchmen guarding the city meet up and talk. Borachio enters and brags that he has earned a lot of money from Don John.

Act 3, Scene 4

Hero, Margaret, and Ursula prepare for Hero's wedding. Beatrice's attitude toward marriage has clearly changed.

Act 3, Scene 5

Leonato doesn't understand Dogberry and Verges' explanation of what they overheard. He prepares for Hero's wedding.

Act 4, Scene 1

Claudio shames Hero at the wedding. Beatrice and Benedick admit their love. Beatrice asks Benedick to kill Claudio.

Act 4, Scene 2

Borachio goes on trial. He is found guilty and taken to Leonato. Don John has fled from Messina.

Act 5, Scene 1

Leonato and Antonio challenge Claudio to a duel. Benedick enters and does the same. Leonato reveals Borachio's crime.

Act 5, Scene 2

Benedick tells Beatrice that he has challenged Claudio. They learn the truth about Don John's plot.

Act 5, Scene 3

Don Pedro and Claudio visit Hero's tomb and recite poetry, mourning her death and their mistake.

Act 5, Scene 4

Hero reveals her identity in order to marry Claudio. Beatrice and Benedick admit their love. Don John is captured.
Matt cosby
About the Translator: Matt Cosby
Matt Cosby graduated from Amherst College in 2011, and currently works as a writer and editor for LitCharts. He is from Florida but now lives in Portland, Oregon, where he also makes art, plays the piano, and goes to dog parks.