Much Ado About Nothing

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 5 Scene 4

page Act 5 Scene 4 Page 4

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CLAUDIO

(to HERO) Give me your hand before this holy friar.
I am your husband, if you like of me.

CLAUDIO

(to HERO) Give me your hand. With the friar as my witness, I am your husband, if you want me.

HERO

60And when I lived, I was your other wife,
And when you loved, you were my other husband.
(She unmasks)

HERO

And when I lived, I was your other wife. And when you loved me, you were my other husband.(she removes her mask)

CLAUDIO

Another Hero!

CLAUDIO

It’s another Hero!

HERO

  Nothing certainer.
One Hero died defiled, but I do live,
65And surely as I live, I am a maid.

HERO

Exactly right. One Hero died when she was slandered, but I am alive. And as surely as I am alive, I am a virgin.

DON PEDRO

The former Hero! Hero that is dead!

DON PEDRO

It’s the former Hero! The Hero that died!

LEONATO

She died, my lord, but whiles her slander lived.

LEONATO

She was only dead, my lord, as long as her slander lived.

FRIAR FRANCIS

All this amazement can I qualify
When after that the holy rites are ended
70I’ll tell you largely of fair Hero’s death.
Meantime let wonder seem familiar,
And to the chapel let us presently.

FRIAR FRANCIS

I can confirm that all these shocking things are true. After the wedding ceremony, I’ll tell you all about beautiful Hero’s “death.” In the meantime, just accept all these wonderful things, and let’s head to the chapel.

BENEDICK

Soft and fair, Friar.—Which is Beatrice?

BENEDICK

Wait a moment, Friar. Which one of you is Beatrice?

BEATRICE

(unmasking) I answer to that name. What is your will?

BEATRICE

(taking off her mask) That’s my name. What do you want?

BENEDICK

75Do not you love me?

BENEDICK

Do you love me?

BEATRICE

    Why no, no more than reason.

BEATRICE

No, no more than is reasonable.

BENEDICK

Why then, your uncle and the Prince and Claudio
Have been deceived. They swore you did.

BENEDICK

Well then, your uncle and the Prince and Claudio have been deceived. They swore you did.

BEATRICE

Do not you love me?

BEATRICE

Do you love me?