Much Ado About Nothing - Act I Study Guide Scene i The messenger

Much Ado About Nothing - Act I Study Guide
Scene i
1. The messenger tells Leonato, governor of Messina, that the men are returning form battle. What information does
he give him about the following: Claudio, Benedick, and Don Pedro?
2. How would you describe Beatrice based on your first impression?
3. In the repartee between Beatrice and Benedick, what feelings about marriage do they both claim to share?
4. What did Beatrice mean in call Benedick by the name Mountanto?
5. What does Benedick say that shows he could be considered a braggart and a ladies man?
6. What do we lean about Don John from Leonato’s words of welcome?
7. When Claudio and Benedick are left alone, what does Claudio ask if Benedick notices? As you read the play, pay
attention to other instances of “noting” or not “noting” someone.
8. Why does Benedick seem opposed to marriage?
9. When Benedick says he will stay a bachelor, what does Don Pedro predict?
10. What does Don Pedro tell Claudio that he Don Pedro will do that night at the masked ball?
11. One theme of the play is “appearance versus reality” or “things are not as they seem.” What action is to take place
that night which will not be as it seems?
Scene ii
1. What misinformation does Antonio give to Leonato?
2. Where has he gotten his information?
Scene iii
How does Don John explain his depression to Conrade, one of his followers?
What does Conrade suggest?
How does Don John describe himself?
How did Borachio find out about Claudio and Don Pedro’s plan?
How does Don John react to Borachio’s news?
Explain Don John’s remark about Claudio, “That young start-up hath all the glory of my overthrow.”
When a half-brother appears in a Shakespeare play, he usually is a resentful, angry villain. Explain how the law of
primogeniture in the 16th century might have been a cause of this resentment? (Yes, use the Internet)
8. How does Don John’s personality and behavior contrast with everyone else we have seen thus far?
Quotes – Speaker and Meaning
1. "There is a kind of merry war betwixt Signior Benedick and her. They never meet but there's a skirmish of wit
between them." (I, i, 50)
2. "Because I will not do them the wrong to mistrust any, I will do myself the right to trust none; and the fine is (for
the which I may go the finer), I will live a bachelor." (I, ii. 208-210)
3. "It must not be denied but I am a plain-dealing villain." (I, iii, 25)