Beatrice is Leonato’s orphaned niece. She appears to be somewhat taller than Hero, as well as older.
She has a ready with which she clearly enjoys displaying, and is much given to mockery. Her favorite target is Benedick, with whom she has something of a history, to the extent that she exercises her talent for mocking him on the poor unsuspecting messenger and takes the first opportunity to needle him once he arrives. She has no care for a husband, and therefore little patience with the suggestion that her ready tongue will prevent her from gaining one. She has little care for social convention, and is quite capable of trading witticisms with the Prince as an equal. She is shocked to hear herself described as prideful by Hero and Ursula. She is shocked and enraged at the accusations thrown at her cousin, putting her in a vulnerable enough state that she will cry, almost admit to loving Benedick, and asking him to kill Claudio for her. When Benedick publically asks her if she loves him following the reconciliation of Claudio and Hero, Beatrice quickly returns to her habit of replying with witticisms, though it is quickly proved that she has recently written a not-very-adequate sonnet confessing to her love. Benedick is finally able to stop her flow of words by kissing her, as they agree to marry, though they insist this is not out of love.