Act I Scene I Taming Of The

Act I, Scene I, Taming Of The Shrew Essay, Research Paper

Act I, scene I A messenger brings word to Leonato that Don

Pedro of Aragon is passing through Messina on his return from a victorious

battle. Then Beatrice asks if Benedick is part of the company, but then hides

her interest in the news. Shortly the company of Don Pedro, Claudio, and

Benedick arrives and Beatrice and Benedick trade clever remarks with one

another, both professing that love is only for fools. Meanwhile Claudio,

attracted by Hero’s beauty, thinks he is in love. He asks Benedick what he thinks

of the lady, but Benedick only rails against marriage and womankind. Don Pedro,

however, supports Claudio’s interest in Hero, and tells him that he will speak

to Hero and her father during the masked revels that evening. Act I, scene II A complication arises immediately when

Antonio reports to Leonato that he overheard the Prince telling Claudio that he

is in love with Hero. Leonato says that he’ll wait to see what will happen. Act I, scene III Meanwhile Don John, Don Pedro’s bastard

brother, hides his hateful nature, waiting for the right moment to cause

problems for his brother and Claudio, who he thinks has taken his place in his

brother’s affections. He hopes Claudio’s desire to wed Hero will give him an

occasion to cause some mischief. Act II, scene I Leonato and his daughter and niece are ready

for the party to begin. While Beatrice complains that there is no man who can

match her spirit, Hero obediently consents to her father’s counsel to accept

the Prince when he woos. All wear masks for the dance which leads to confusion

and fun. Don Pedro talks to Hero privately while Benedick and Beatrice exchange

insults. Meanwhile, Don John tries to cause trouble by telling Claudio that

Pedro plans to wed Hero himself. Claudio thinks he has lost Hero and becomes very

angry with Pedro. However, Pedro comes in to announce that he has completed the

match between Hero and Claudio, and instantly Claudio’s jealousy turns to joy.

Now that the wedding is arranged, the Duke proposes a plan to get Beatrice and

Benedick fall in love with one another. Act II, scene II Don John and Borachio hatch a scheme to

thwart Claudio’s marriage plans by making Hero seem unchaste. Borachio will

arrange to meet with Margaret at Hero’s window in the middle of the night.

Thereby, he will fool the Duke and Claudio into believing that Hero is having

an affair. Act II, scene III Benedick is in the garden lamenting how love

has changed Claudio. He is no longer a simple, frank, natural soldier but a

lover, concerned about fashion, manners, and poetry. Benedick reconfirms his

resolve to have nothing to do with marriage. The woman he would surrender

himself to must be fair, wise, and virtuous, and he hasn’t met any woman like

this. He hides in an arbor when Don Pedro, Claudio,

and Leonato approach. Having seen him, they begin their scheme to get Benedick

and Beatrice romantically involved. They announce that Beatrice loves Benedick,

but they express fear that Benedick will just make fun of the lady. Benedick is completely fooled by their trick,

and when he sees Beatrice coming to call him in to dinner, he is charmed of

her. Although Beatrice is sharp in her speech, Benedick now hears words of love

where before he heard only her insults. Act III, scene I Hero arranges for Beatrice to overhear a

conversation about Benedick’s love sickness and desire for Beatrice. Beatrice

listens while Hero and her waiting lady pity about how Beatrice would only make

fun of Benedick if she knew. Beatrice is taken in and has a complete change of

heart; she vows to love Benedick if he will have her. Act III, scene II Don Pedro, Claudio, and Leonato tease

Benedick saying he doesn’t look like himself; he is pale and melancholy as well

as clean and newly shaven. Finally when he can’t stand their teasing anymore,

Benedick asks to talk privately with Leonato. Don John joins Don Pedro and Claudio and

accuses Hero of being unfaithful. He says he wants to save Claudio from a

dishonorable marriage, and he will take them that night to Hero’s bedroom

window where they will see her with a man on the night before her wedding.

Claudio swears that if she is with a man, he will shame her at their wedding

before the whole congregation. Act III, scene III The night watch assembles and gets muddled

instructions from Dogberry and Verges to be alert for enemies of the prince.

They overhear Borachio brag to Conrade about just earning a thousand ducats

from Don John by fooling Claudio and Don Pedro into believing that Hero met

with him at her window. He had met with Hero’s maid Margaret. The watch officers

step forward and arrest Borachio and Conrade for this treachery. Act III, scene IV Hero is nervously preparing for the wedding

while Beatrice acts lovesick and melancholy. Margaret teases Beatrice, saying

she may be in love, just like Benedick. Act III, scene V The Constable Dogberry meets with Leonato to

tell him the Watch has taken two prisoners during the night, and they need to

be examined. However, Leonato is in a hurry to leave for the church with Hero

and can’t make sense out of Dogberry’s and Verges’ foolish speech. He orders

them to conduct the examination. Act IV, scene I Everyone convenes at the church for the

wedding of Hero and Claudio. When the friar asks if Claudio is here to marry

this lady, he says no. He tells Leonato to take Hero back; she’s a "rotten

orange," "the sign and semblance of her honor." Claudio says

that he knows Hero is unchaste and rejects her. Hero faints while her father

staggers beneath these accusations. Beatrice, Benedick, Leonato, and the friar

try to understand what has happened. They begin to suspect that Don John is

behind the accusations. The Friar suggests a strategy: let people think Hero

has died. Remorse will begin to work on Claudio, and they will have time to

find out what has happened. Left alone together Benedick confesses his

love to Beatrice, who finally admits that she loves him also. As a sign of his

love, Beatrice asks Benedick to take revenge for the wrong done to Hero. He

pledges to challenge Claudio. Act IV, scene II The Constables convene the assembly to

interrogate the prisoners, and after much confusion caused by Dogberry’s

fractured vocabulary, the Sexton accuses Borachio and Conrade of plotting

against Hero. Act V, scene I Leonato is full of anger at the slander

against Hero and refuses to be comforted by his brother. When Don Pedro and

Claudio appear, Leonato challenges him to a duel to regain the honor of his

daughter. Antonio, Leonato’s brother, joins in the challenge, but Claudio and

Pedro refuse to fight. Benedick meets with Claudio and Pedro and

challenges Claudio to a duel for the honor of Hero. He also tells Don Pedro

that his brother has fled Messina and that they have falsely accused and killed

an innocent lady. The constables find Don Pedro and Claudio and

reveal the scheme of the villain Don John. Pedro and Claudio are shocked, and

Claudio thinks of his first love of Hero. Leonato hears of the revelation, but

when he comes before the company, he proclaims Pedro and Claudio the true

villains. They are the ones who really caused the death of Hero by believing

the accusations against her. When they beg for penance, Leonato charges them to

announce Hero’s innocence to the people. Also, Claudio must marry his niece the

next day. Act V, scene II Benedick meets with Beatrice to declare his

love again and to tell her that he has challenged Claudio. Ursula, the lady’s

gentlewoman, comes in to tell them the news about Don John’s scheme. Act V, scene III At the family monument of Leonato, Claudio

recites an epitaph to Hero and keeps vigil throughout the night. Act V, scene IV Leonato awaits Claudio whom he plans to wed

to his daughter, Hero. Benedick asks the friar also to marry him and Beatrice.

The women come forward masked. Claudio declares himself husband to the woman he

stands beside, and Hero reveals herself. Beatrice and Benedick begin to argue about

whether they really love one another, but their friends have proof, poems

they have written declaring their love. They kiss and all are joined together

in a dance to celebrate the marriages about to take place.


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