Much Ado About Nothing
Don Pedro, a Spanish prince from Aragon, returns to Messina from a successful battle, with Claudio being among his soldiers. Beatrice, Leonato's niece, inquires about Benedick, and makes sarcastic remarks about his ineptitude as a soldier.
Upon the arrival of the soldiers, Leonato welcomes Don Pedro and invites him to stay for a month, Benedick and Beatrice resume their "merry war", and Pedro's illegitimate brother Don John is introduced. Claudio's feelings for Hero, Leonato's only daughter, are rekindled upon seeing her, and Claudio soon announces to Benedick his intention to court her. Benedick, who openly despises marriage, tries to dissuade his friend but Don Pedro encourages the marriage. Benedick swears that he will never get married. Don Pedro laughs at him and tells him that when he has found the right person he shall get married.
A masquerade ball is planned in celebration of the end of the war, giving a disguised Don Pedro the opportunity to woo Hero on Claudio's behalf.