PlayShakespeare.com: The Ultimate Free Shakespeare Resource
PlayShakespeare.com: The Ultimate Free Shakespeare Resource
PlayShakespeare.com: The Ultimate Free Shakespeare Resource
PlayShakespeare.com: The Ultimate Free Shakespeare Resource

Much Ado About Nothing Characters

Don Pedro

Don Pedro is the Prince of Aragon. He has just won a war against his illegitimate half-brother Don John. He reconciles himself to his brother, though he doesn’t speak to him much and may merely be keeping him close to keep an eye on him.

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Don John

Don John is a bastard, in both the legal and ethical senses of the term. The essence of his character is that he is evil.

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Claudio

Claudio is a Count of Don Pedro’s suite, who has distinguished himself in the recent war. He is from Florence, though he has an emotional uncle living in Messina.

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Benedick

Benedick is a gentleman of Padua serving in Don Pedro’s army. He wears a beard at the beginning of the play. According to Beatrice, he adopts a new best friend once a month, possibly out of a concern for money; his present one is Claudio.

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Leonato

Leonato, the governor of Messina, is an older man, with a white beard. He has a daughter, Hero, and is the guardian of an orphaned niece, Beatrice.

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Antonio

Antonio is Leonato’s brother. An old man, he has a tendency to wag his head in a characteristic way. He apparently has a son who provides for the music in Leonato’s house.

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Balthasar

Balthasar is an attendant of Don Pedro’s and a musician. A singer, he most likely plays the lute to accompany himself.

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Conrade

Conrade is one of Don John’s followers. He attempts to cheer Don John up and to convince him that he should be, at the least, happy that Don Pedro has taken him back, and use that favor to pursue his own ends.

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Borachio

Borachio is one of Don John’s followers. His name tells us well enough that he is a drunkard. He also has, however, a crafty mind.

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Friar Francis

Friar Francis is in the tradition of Romeo and Juliet’s Friar Laurence; both are long-winded, well-meaning, somewhat interfering gentlemen who think it is a fine idea to make people believe a young girl is dead.

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Dogberry

Dogberry is the constable of the Watch, whose job is to patrol the streets of Messina at night and keep order. Dogberry has very few doubts about himself.

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Verges

Verges is the Headborough, and Dogberry’s partner as commander of the Watch. He is an old man, and seems to be completely under Dogberry’s thumb.

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Sexton

The Sexton is in charge of examining the men detained by the Watch, and it is his misfortune that the Watch should be commanded by Dogberry.

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Hero

Hero is Leonato’s daughter. A sweet and obedient girl overshadowed by her cousin Beatrice, she almost never speaks in her elders’ presence.

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Beatrice

Beatrice is Leonato’s orphaned niece. She appears to be somewhat taller than Hero, as well as older.

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Margaret

Margaret is Hero’s waiting-gentlewoman. A fashion-obsessed flirt who requires good dancing abilities in her men, she is witty enough to hold her own against both Benedick and Beatrice in certain circumstances.

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First Watchman

The First Watchman suggests either Seacoal or Hugh Oatcake as leaders of the patrol, on the basis of their ability to read and write. He joins in the testimony to the Sexton.

Second Watchman

The Second Watchman (George Seacoal) is a member of the Watch who is able to read and write, and is therefore put in charge of the nightly patrol. 

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Watchmen

The Watchmen (one of whom is Hugh Oatcake) are part of the neighbourhood watch that Dogberry commands, charged with patrolling the streets of Messina at night. 

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