A line-by-line translation

Much Ado About Nothing

Much Ado About Nothing Translation Table of Contents

Now you can read Much Ado About Nothing alongside a modern translation that anyone can understand. Use the translation to enrich your understanding of Shakespeare's original and avoid getting bogged down in archaic language.

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.