In Messina, Don Pedro, the Prince of Arragon, and his officers return from a recently concluded war, and visit Leonato. The party arrives with Count Claudio, who had before the war been attracted by Leonato’s only daughter, Hero. Another of the visitors is Benedick, a bachelor, who enjoys speaking his mind in witty argument with Hero’s cousin and companion, the Lady Beatrice.
The engagement of Claudio to Hero is soon announced, whilst the Duke's sister, Donna Giovanna seeks a way to spoil the general happiness, with some success. Luckily, the night watchmen are on hand to see fair play. Elsewhere, plans are afoot to bring the bickering Beatrice and Benedick together.
Typical of Shakespeare's comedies, Much Ado has heros, villains and clowns, with a good share of mis-understandings and of course, love.