Hero is Leonato’s daughter. A sweet and obedient girl overshadowed by her cousin Beatrice, she almost never speaks in her elders’ presence.
On her own with Ursula, however, she is quite capable of speech, particularly when she knows that Beatrice is overhearing her, and that therefore the plot to make her cousin and Benedick fall in love is advancing apace. She takes her father’s instructions to receive a suit from the Prince well, and offers no objection when the suit is for Claudio instead; during her talk in the garden, she claims to be fully in love with Claudio. When he suddenly turns on her on their wedding day, accusing her of being a harlot, she is shocked to the core and can summon no defense against the unexpected and false charges leveled at her. The blow is such that she faints. Reviving, she is able to say only that she has no idea what evidence there is against her. She accepts to go into seclusion until things are worked out. When the mystery is unraveled, she accepts to marry Claudio all the same, though no explanation why is given. She is quickly able to tease Beatrice and reveal that she has written a sonnet admitting to loving Benedick, essentially the first and only spontaneous action we see from her. She is a short woman, and (if one can trust Benedick’s opinion) dark of skin.