Much Ado About Nothing Quotes

How much better it is to weep at joy than to joy at weeping! Leonato
You will never run mad, niece Leonato
Alas, poor hurt fowl, now will he creep into sedges. But that my Lady Beatrice should know me, and not know me! The Prince’s fool! Ha, it may be I go under that title because I am merry. Yea, but so I am apt to do myself wrong. I am not so reputed! It is the base, though bitter, disposition of Beatrice that puts the world into her person and so gives me out. Well, I’ll be revenged as I may. Benedict (talking about Claudio feeling sad since he thinks Don Pedro wooed for himself)
O, she misused me past the endurance of a block! An oakbut with one green leaf on it would have answered her. Myvery visor began to assume life and scold with her. She toldme, not thinking I had been myself, that I was the Prince’sjester, that I was duller than a great thaw, huddling jestupon jest with such impossible conveyance upon me that Istood like a man at a mark with a whole army shooting atme. She speaks poniards, and every word stabs. If herbreath were as terrible as her terminations, there were noliving near her; she would infect to the north star. I wouldnot marry her, though she were endowed with all thatAdam had left him before he transgressed. She would havemade Hercules have turned spit, yea, and have cleft his club to make the fire, too. Come, talk not of her. You shall find her the infernal Ate in good apparel. I would to God some scholar would conjure her, for certainly, while she is here, a man may live as quiet in hell as in a sanctuary, and people sin upon purpose because they would go thither. So indeed all disquiet, horror and perturbation follows her. Benedict (talking about about Beatrice insulted Benedict while he was under the mask)
Good Lord, for alliance! Thus goes every one to the world but I, and I am sunburnt. I may sit in a corner and cry “Heigh ho for a husband” Beatrice (she is talking about how everyone is in loved/getting married but her)
They will scarcely believe this withouttrial. Offer them instances, which shall bear no lesslikelihood than to see me at her chamber window, hear mecall Margaret “Hero,” hear Margaret term me “Claudio,”and bring them to see this the very night before theintended wedding, for in the meantime I will so fashion the matter that Hero shall be absent, and there shall appear such seeming truth of Hero’s disloyalty that jealousy shall be called assurance and all the preparation overthrown. Borachio (telling Don John about the plan to ruin the marriage. He explains the proof to prove Hero’s a slut.)
I will not be sworn but love may transform me to an oyster, but I’ll take my oath on it, till he have made an oyster of me, he shall never make me such a fool. One woman is fair, yet I am well; another is wise, yet I am well; another virtuous, yet I am well; but till all graces be in one woman, one woman shall not come in my grace. Rich she shall be, that’s certain; wise, or I’ll none; virtuous, or I’ll never cheapen her; fair, or I’ll ever look on her; mild, or come not near me; noble, or not I for an angel; of good discourse, an excellent musician, and her hair shall be of what color it please God. Ha! The Prince and Monsieur Love! I will hide me in the arbor. Benedict (promising if he ever falls in love, he won’t turn into love-sick Claudio. Listing qualities he looks for in a women and requires to love. At the end, he hides in the bushes.)
I should think this is a gull, but that the white bearded fellow speaks it. Knavery cannot sure hide himself in such reverence. Benedict (“would take this as a joke if the old man weren’t saying it. Mischief surely can’t be hiding in such a respectable man.” Believes that Beatrice loves him because Leonardo confirms it (hiding him the bushes) )
This can be no trick. The conference wassadly borne; they have the truth of this from Hero; theyseem to pity the lady. It seems her affections have their fullbent. Love me? Why, it must be requited! I hear how I amcensured. They sy I will bear myself proudly if I perceivethe love come from her. They say, too, that she will ratherdie than give any sign of affection. I did never think tomarry. I must not seem proud. Happy are they that heartheir detractions and can put them to mending. They saythe lady is fair; ’tis a truth, I can bear them witness. Andvirtuous; ’tis so, I cannot reprove it. And wise, but forloving me; by my troth, it is no addition to her wit, nor nogreat argument of her folly, for I will be horribly in lovewith her! I may chance have some odd quirks and remnants of wit broken on me because I have railed so long against marriage, but doth not the appetite alter? A man loves the meat in his youth that he cannot endure in his age. Shall quips and sentences and these paper bullets of the brain awe a man from the career of his humor? No! The world must be peopled. When I said I would die a bachelor, I did not think I should live till I were married. Here comes Beatrice. By this day, she’s a fair lady. I do spy some marks of love in her. Benedict (Trusts what he is hearing that Beatrice loves him and vows to return the love. They list all the things that they said he can’t do like take her love seriously, and he says “watch me”. He intends on marrying and says “the world needs to be populated”. This can’t be a trick. They spoke with great seriousness, and they have Hero’s testimony. They seem to pity the lady. It seems her love is stretched to the limit. She loves me? Well, that love must be returned! I hear how I’m criticized. They say I’ll be smug if I find out she loves me. They also say she’d rather die than give any sign of her feelings. I never thought I’d marry. I can’t appear to be proud. People who discover their faults and can then change them are lucky indeed. They say the lady is beautiful; it’s true, I’ve seen it myself. And virtuous; that’s true, I can’t disprove that. And smart, except that she loves me. That may not be any proof of her intelligence, but I swear it won’t be evidence of her stupidity—for I’m going to be horribly in love with her! People might tease me here and there, since I attacked marriage for so long. But don’t tastes change? A man can love a dish when he is young that he hates when he turns old. Will quips and clever remarks and scathing written words keep a man from getting what his heart desires? No! The world needs to be populated. When I said that I’d die as a bachelor, I just meant that I didn’t think I’d live until I got married. Here comes Beatrice. By God! She’s a beautiful lady. I think I sense some signs of love in her.)
For look where Beatrice like a lapwing runs. Close by the ground, to hear our conference. Hero (to Ursula- Let’s start. See, Beatrice has run over like a little bird, keeping close to the ground and trying to overhear us.)
But Nature never framed a woman’s heartOf prouder stuff than that of Beatrice.Disdain and scorn ride sparkling in her eyes,Misprizing what they look on, and her witValues itself so highly that to herAll matter else seems weak. She cannot loveNor take no shape nor project of affectionShe is so self-endeared. Hero (But Nature never made a woman’s heart as proud and tough as Beatrice’s. There is scorn and disdain in her eyes, and those sparkling eyes despise everything they look upon. She values her wit more highly than anything else, which looks weak by comparison. She’s so in love with herself, she’s incapable of loving anyone else. She can’t even imagine what “love” is.Hero is talking to Ursula hoping Beatrice will overhear, she says that Beatrice is incapable of loving.)
So turns she every man the wrong side outAnd never gives to truth and virtue thatWhich simpleness and merit purchaseth. Hero (trying to make Benedict seem appealing. Talks about how no one is ever good enough for Beatrice. And so she turns men inside out and never acknowledges the integrity and merit that a man has.)
If I should speak,She would mock me into air. O, she would laugh meOut of myself, press me to death with wit.Therefore let Benedict, like covered fire,Consume away in sighs, waste inwardly.It were a better death than die with mocks,Which is as bad as die with tickling. Hero (If I said something, she’d mock me so mercilessly that I’d probably disintegrate into air. She’d laugh me right out of my body and kill me with her wit. So Benedick should conceal his emotions. Like a fire that gets covered up, Benedick should smother his love and waste away. It would be better to die that way than to die from being mocked, which is as bad as being killed by tickling.Hero is saying that if she said anything about Benedict loving her, she’d mock it, and Benedict would wither away. Its better for him to die of not getting her than to die of her cruel mocking.)
What fire is in mine ears? Can this be true?Stand I condemned for pride and scorn so much?Contempt, farewell, and maiden pride, adieu!No glory lives behind the back of such.And Benedick, love on; I will requite thee,Taming my wild heart to thy loving hand.If thou dost love, my kindness shall incite theeTo bind our loves up in a holy band.For others say thou dost deserve, and IBelieve it better than reportingly. Beatrice (She is wondering if people really think that she is that heartless. She says that she will return Benedict’s love and be much kinder from now because he deserves her love.)
Nay, that would be as great a soil in the new gloss of yourmarriage as to show a child his new coat and forbid him towear it. I will only be bold with Benedick for his company,for from the crown of his head to the sole of his foot he is all mirth. He hath twice or thrice cut Cupid’s bow-string, and the little hangman dare not shoot at him. He hath a heart as sound as a bell, and his tongue is the clapper, for what his heart thinks, his tongue speaks. Don Pedro (he is going to Aragon and wants Benedict to come with to make him make a move with Beatrice. Taking Claudio from his new marriage would be like the child&coat. He will bring Benedict because he isn’t to fall in love anymore –> he says everything he thinks.)
I came to tell you, and circumstances short’ned (for she has been too long a talking of), the lady is disloyal. Don John (setting up the set up –> talking about Hero)
The word is too good to paint out her wickedness. I couldsay she were worse. Think you of a worse title, and I will fither to it. Wonder not till further warrant. Go but with metonight, you shall see her chamber window entered, eventhe night before her wedding day. If you love her then,tomorrow wed her. But it would better fit your honor tochange your mind. Don John (He says that the word disloyal does not a bad enough word to describe her. He says that tonight he will show them proof at the camber window.)
Not so, neither. But know that I have tonight wooedMargaret, the Lady Hero’s gentlewoman, by the name ofHero. She leans me out at her mistress’ chamber window,bids me a thousand times good night. I tell this tale vilely.I should first tell thee how the Prince, Claudio and mymaster, planted and placed and possessed by my masterDon John, saw afar off in the orchard this amiableencounter. Borachio (confessing to Conrade what he did to set Hero up.)
Two of them did, the Prince and Claudio, but the devil mymaster knew she was Margaret; and partly by his oaths,which first possessed them, partly by the dark night, whichdid deceive them, but chiefly by my villainy, which didconfirm any slander that Don John had made, away wentClaudio enraged, swore he would meet her as he wasappointed next morning at the temple, and there, before the whole congregation, shame her with what he saw o’ernight and send her home again without a husband. Borachio (Conrade asks if anyone saw the proof and Borachio says that 3 of them did- one being the knowing Don John. He says that Claudio was enraged and is going to publicly shame her tomorrow at the wedding.)
O, what men dare do! What men may do! What men dailydo, not knowing what they do! Claudio (Oh, the things men dare to do! The things men are allowed to do! The things men do daily, not knowing what they’re doing!)at the wedding where they are publicly shamming Hero.
Sweet Prince, you learn me noble thankfulness.—There, Leonato, take her back again.Give not this rotten orange to your friend.She’s but the sign and semblance of her honor.Behold how like a maid she blushes here!Oh, what authority and show of truthCan cunning sin cover itself withal!Comes not that blood as modest evidenceTo witness simple virtue? Would you not swear,All you that see her, that she were a maidBy these exterior shows? But she is none.She knows the heat of a luxurious bed.Her blush is guiltiness, not modesty. Claudio (Leonato, take your daughter back. Thanks for given me rotten goods. She appears honorable, and she blushes like a virgin, but she is not innocent. She blushes from guilt, not modesty.)
I know what you would say: if I have known her,You will say she did embrace me as a husband,And so extenuate the forehand sin.No, Leonato,I never tempted her with word too largeBut, as a brother to his sister, showedBashful sincerity and comely love. Claudio (Leonato is like dude if anyone took her virginity it was you! Claudio is like no, I never seduced her. I gave her proper affection and treated her like a brother would his sister.)
Do not live, Hero, do not ope thine eyes,For, did I think thou wouldst not quickly die,Thought I thy spirits were stronger than thy shames,Myself would, on the rearward of reproaches,Strike at thy life. Grieved I I had but one?Chid I for that at frugal Nature’s frame?O, one too much by thee! Why had I one?Why ever wast thou lovely in my eyes?Why had I not with charitable handTook up a beggar’s issue at my gates,Who, smirchèd thus, and mired with infamy,I might have said, “No part of it is mine;This shame derives itself from unknown loins”?But mine, and mine I loved, and mine I praised,And mine that I was proud on, mine so muchThat I myself was to myself not mine,Valuing of her—why, she, O she is fall’nInto a pit of ink, that the wide seaHath drops too few to wash her clean againAnd salt too little which may season giveTo her foul tainted flesh! Leonato (He believes the men and not his daughter and hopes she does not wake up in the morning since she has embarrassed him.)
Marry, this, well carried, shall on her behalfChange slander to remorse. That is some good.But not for that dream I on this strange course,But on this travail look for greater birth.She, dying, as it must so be maintained,Upon the instant that she was accused,Shall be lamented, pitied and excusedOf every hearer. For it so falls outThat what we have we prize not to the worthWhiles we enjoy it, but being lacked and lost,Why then we rack the value, then we findThe virtue that possession would not show usWhiles it was ours. So will it fare with Claudio.When he shall hear she died upon his words,The idea of her life shall sweetly creepInto his study of imagination,And every lovely organ of her lifeShall come apparelled in more precious habit,More moving, delicate and full of life,Into the eye and prospect of his soulThan when she lived indeed. Then shall he mourn,If ever love had interest in his liver,And wish he had not so accused her,No, though he thought his accusation true.Let this be so, and doubt not but successWill fashion the event in better shapeThan I can lay it down in likelihood.But if all aim but this be leveled false,The supposition of the lady’s deathWill quench the wonder of her infamy.And if it sort not well, you may conceal her,As best befits her wounded reputation,In some reclusive and religious life,Out of all eyes, tongues, minds, and injuries. Friar (If we do this correctly, we can restore her name and make those who did this to her extremely guilty. We will make Claudio realize that Hero died because of her, and IMAGINE THE GUILT AND HE WILL MOURN. Follow this plan and even if it doesn’t work, we can also send her to a nunnery.)
‘Tis well consented. Presently away,For to strange sores strangely they strain the cure.—Come, lady, die to live. This wedding dayPerhaps is but prolonged. Have patience and endure. Friar (This is a good agreement. Now, let’s go. A strange disease requires a strange cure. Come, lady; you must die in order to live. Hopefully, your wedding day is only postponed. Have patience and endure.)
As strange as the thing I know not. It were as possible forme to say I loved nothing so well as you, but believe me not,and yet I lie not, I confess nothing, nor I deny nothing. I amsorry for my cousin. Beatrice (right after Benedict said there is nothing in the world he loves more than her. She doesn’t really say it back…)
Is he not approved in the height a villain, that hathslandered, scorned, dishonored my kinswoman? Oh, that Iwere a man! What, bear her in hand until they come to takehands and then, with public accusation, uncoveredslander, unmitigated rancor—O God, that I were a man! Iwould eat his heart in the marketplace. Beatrice (Benedict asks if Claudio is her enemy. Shes like… he DISHONORED MY COUSIN SO YES. If only I was a man so I could kill him…)
Princes and counties! Surely, a princely testimony, a goodlycount, Count Comfect, a sweet gallant, surely! Oh, that Iwere a man for his sake! Or that I had any friend would bea man for my sake! But manhood is melted into curtsies,valor into compliment, and men are only turned intotongue, and trim ones too. He is now as valiant as Herculesthat only tells a lie and swears it. I cannot be a man withwishing, therefore I will die a woman with grieving. Beatrice (She is like… men only talk the talk but don’t walk the walk when it comes to killing Claudio.)
Enough, I am engaged. I will challenge him. I will kiss yourhand, and so I leave you. By this hand, Claudio shall renderme a dear account. As you hear of me, so think of me. Gocomfort your cousin. I must say she is dead, and so,farewell. Benedict (After Beatrice restates all that Claudio has done, Benedict agrees to kill him for her.)
Masters, it is proved already that you are littlebetter than false knaves, and it will go near to be thought soshortly. How answer you for yourselves? Dogberry (interrogating Con and Bora. ‘Gentlemen, it’s already been proven that you aren’t much better than lying criminals, and soon we’ll know almost for certain. How do you both plead?’ –> do you plead innocent or guilty?)
Dost thou not suspect my place? Dost thou not suspect myyears? Oh, that he were here to write me down an ass! Butmasters, remember that I am an ass, though it be notwritten down, yet forget not that I am an ass.—No, thouvillain, thou art full of piety, as shall be proved upon thee bygood witness. I am a wise fellow and, which is more, anofficer and, which is more, a householder and, which ismore, as pretty a piece of flesh as any is in Messina, and onethat knows the law, go to, and a rich fellow enough, go to,and a fellow that hath had losses, and one that hath twogowns and everything handsome about him.—Bring himaway.—Oh, that I had been writ down an ass! Dogberry (How can you call me that? Don’t you suspect my office? Don’t you suspect (respect) my age? Oh, if only the sexton were here to write down that I’m an ass! Gentlemen, remember that I am an ass; even though it’s not written down, don’t forget that I’m an ass. Oh, you’re a rotten bastard, you are. I’m a wise man and, what’s more, I’m an officer of the law and, what’s more, I’m a householder and, what’s more, I’m as handsome a hunk of meat as any in Messina. And I know the law, damn you, and I’m rich enough, damn you, and I used to have more, but I still have two robes and lots of lovely things.—Take him away!—Oh, if only the sexton had recorded that I’m an ass!BASICALLY HOW DARE YOU CALL ME AN ASS I AM AN HONORABLE MAN. )
Know, Claudio, to thy head,Thou hast so wronged mine innocent child and meThat I am forced to lay my reverence by,And with gray hairs and bruise of many daysDo challenge thee to trial of a man.I say thou hast belied mine innocent child.Thy slander hath gone through and through her heart,And she lies buried with her ancestors,Oh, in a tomb where never scandal sleptSave this of hers, framed by thy villainy. Leonato (Just know, Claudio, you wronged me and my innocent child. I CHALLENGE YOU TO A DUEL. SHE IS DEAD BECAUSE OF YOU )
You are a villain. I jest not. I will make itgood how you dare, with what you dare, and when youdare. Do me right, or I will protest your cowardice. Youhave killed a sweet lady, and her death shall fall heavy onyou. Let me hear from you. Benedict (to Claudio: You are a villain. I’m not kidding. I challenge you however youlike—with whatever weapons you choose, and whenever you want. Meet this challenge, or I’ll say thatyou’re a coward. You’ve killed an innocent woman,and you’re going to pay dearly for her death. What do you say?)
Marry, sir, they have committed false report; moreover,they have spoken untruths; secondarily, they are slanders;sixth and lastly, they have belied a lady; thirdly, they haveverified unjust things; and, to conclude, they are lyingknaves. Dogberry (to Don Pedro: Don Pedro asked what they men are accused of and Dogberry replies… Well sir, they’ve lied; moreover, they have said things that were not true; secondarily, they are slanderers; sixth and lastly, they have falsely accused a lady; thirdly, they have confirmed things that did not in fact happen; and, in conclusion, they are lying scoundrels.)
I have deceived even yourvery eyes. What your wisdoms could not discover, theseshallow fools have brought to light, who in the nightoverheard me confessing to this man how Don John yourbrother incensed me to slander the Lady Hero, how youwere brought into the orchard and saw me court Margaret inHero’s garments, how you disgraced her when you shouldmarry her. My villainy they have upon record, which I hadrather seal with my death than repeat over to my shame. Thelady is dead upon mine and my master’s false accusation.And, briefly, I desire nothing but the reward of a villain. Borachio (confessing everything)
I cannot bid you bid my daughter live—That were impossible—but, I pray you both,Possess the people in Messina hereHow innocent she died. And if your loveCan labor ought in sad invention,Hang her an epitaph upon her tombAnd sing it to her bones. Sing it tonight.Tomorrow morning come you to my house,And since you could not be my son-in-law,Be yet my nephew. My brother hath a daughter,Almost the copy of my child that’s dead,And she alone is heir to both of us.Give her the right you should have given her cousin,And so dies my revenge. Leonato (I can’t ask you to make my daughter live—that’s impossible—but I beg you both to tell the people of Messina that she was innocent when she died. And if your love can produce something from its sadness, write a poem for her; hang it on her grave and sing it to her bones. Sing it tonight. Then come to my house tomorrow morning, and since you couldn’t be my son-in-law, be my nephew instead. My brother has a daughter who looks exactly like Hero; this girl is heir to both our estates. Marry her as you should have married her cousin, and I will let my revenge die.)
1: Thou hast frighted the word out of his right sense, soforcible is thy wit. But I must tell thee plainly, Claudioundergoes my challenge, and either I must shortly hearfrom him, or I will subscribe him a coward. And I pray theenow tell me, for which of my bad parts didst thou first fallin love with me?2: For them all together, which maintained so politic a state ofevil that they will not admit any good part to interminglewith them. But for which of my good parts did you firstsuffer love for me?1: Suffer love! A good epithet! I do suffer love indeed, for Ilove thee against my will.2: In spite of your heart, I think. Alas, poor heart, if you spiteit for my sake, I will spite it for yours, for I will never lovethat which my friend hates.1: Thou and I are too wise to woo peaceably. Benedict and Beatrice(1: BENEDICKYour wit is so forceful, it frightens the very meaning out of your words. But I will tell you this very plainly: I have challenged Claudio, and either he’ll accept the challenge or admit he’s a coward. Now, tell me—which of my bad qualities did you fall in love with first?2: BEATRICEWith all of them at once: they work together to create such an entirely evil person that no good ever manages to enter the mix. But tell me—which of my good qualities first made you suffer love for me?1: BENEDICKSuffer love! That’s a good way of putting it. I do suffer love, because I love you against my will.2: BEATRICEYou love me in spite of your heart, I think. If you spite your heart for my sake, then I will spite it for yours. I will never love the thing my friend hates.1: BENEDICKYou and I are too wise to woo each other peacefully.)
1: A miracle! Here’s our own hands against our hearts. Come,I will have thee, but, by this light, I take thee for pity.2: I would not deny you, but, by this good day, I yield upongreat persuasion, and partly to save your life, for I was toldyou were in a consumption. Benedict and Beatrice(1: BENEDICKWhat a miracle! Our handwriting gives away our hearts. Come on, I’ll take you, but honestly I’m only doing it out of pity.2: BEATRICEI won’t say no to you, but let it be known that I’m only doing this after a lot of persuasion and to save your life —I hear you were quickly wasting away without me.They stop talking and kiss.BEFORE: they are like idk i might not like you but then their friends present the poems they both wrote and they are like jk i do like u!)
Never came trouble to my house in the likeness of your Grace, for trouble being gone, comfort should remain; but when you depart from me, sorrow abides and happiness takes his leave Leonato (to Don Pedro, explaining that he loves having them stay at his house –> good host)
That a women conceiv’d me… Benedict (he’s like I thank my mom and my maid but any other woman… nah brah)
Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more, Men were deceivers ever, One foot in sea and one on shore, To one thing constant never. Then sigh not so, but let them go, And be you blithe and bonny, Converting all your sounds of woe Into Hey, nonny nonny. Sing no more ditties, sing no mo Of dumps so dull and heavy. The fraud of men was ever so, Since summer first was leavy. Then sigh not so, but let them go And be you blithe and bonny, Converting all your sounds of woe Into Hey, nonny nonny Balthasar (Basically men lie and cheat)
And what have I to give back whose worthMay counterpoise this rich and precious gift? Claudio (to Leonato. Heavy sarcasm after he finds out Hero’s disloyalty)
Ah, how much might the man deserve of me that would right her! Beatrice (whoever would fix Hero’s situation would deserve me!!)
I do love nothing in the world so well as you- is not that strange? Benedict (he is professing his love to Beatrice)
Write down Prince John a villain. Why, this is flat perjury, to call a prince’s brother villain. Dogberry (during interrogation. Ironic because it is true…)
What a pretty thing man is when he goes in his doublet and hose and leaves off his wit! Don Pedro (teasing Benedict. Basically, “forgets to put his good sense on with his clothes”)
Thou and I are too wise to woo peacably Benedict (saying that they are both too aware of what marriage and love entails to become overemotional about it.)
A man loves the meat in his youth, that he cannot endure in his age. Benedict
Is’t come to this? In faith, hath not the world one man but he will wear his cap with suspicion? Benedict
God give me joy to wear it! for my heart is exceeding heavy. Hero
In time the savage bull doth bear the yoke. Don Pedro

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