Scene I


The City of Messina in Sicily at the home of Leonato.

Stage Direction

Hero and Beatrice walk down the hall towards Beatrice's room.


Hero: I cannot take in what is to become in only a matter of days. To become a wife to Claudio, come these next days I shall be most happy.

Beatrice: Yes, I suppose with matrimony forthcoming, you have lost all brains and will now linger in a perpetual state of happiness.

Hero: My cousin why doest thou look down on matrimony with such disdain?

Beatrice: Tis not that I loathe the act of matrimony, tis the thought of a husband that casts such a shadow on the notion. To hear one so confess his love for me, the thought does little to please me.

Hero: But cousin if not the right man came along to alter your outlook on the concept of matrimony, would you not wholly accept him into your heart? Would the thought of such a man not put a flicker of hope inside even you?

Beatrice and Hero now arrive at the door of Beatrice's room.

Beatrice: Hope? Dear cousin what hope have I of ever such a man coming into my life? No I think I shall not delude myself with the thought of such a fantasy. Now as the night draws on I grow tired of this conversation and will now bid you good night. Good night dear cousin I pray for your happiness these coming days.

Hero: Good night. I shall also pray for you happiness these coming days dear cousin.


Scene 2


Beatrice's room in the home of Leonato

Stage Direction

Beatrice sits at her table writing a letter to Benedick, we hear Beatrice's thoughts as she writes the letter.


Beatrice: Though I have put up a fraud of a face before the whole of this house, I still cannot deny that which my heart dares to hope. Can my secret beloved truly love a woman such as myself? I have loved him what seems like an eternity; should I dare let my heart wander into this fantasy of hope? Even though he hath shown me no indication of his affections? This letter which holds all my hopes and all my thoughts which I shall have with me, do I dare put faith in this letter and hope for a response to my steadfast love?

Beatrice continues to write and eventually finishes the letter. She now dresses for bed and lays down to go to sleep.

Beatrice: I cannot bear the thought of him rejecting me but after my overhearing what Hero hath said I cannot help but cling to this thread of hope. If I should give Benedick this letter and he with his whole heart accepts me, I cannot express the joy that will fill my heart. But if my ears have heard a false hood and I act upon my feelings and present this letter and was rejected, my heart would soon be crushed, and I in shame would not have the will to live. I will have this letter at the ready only if my feelings are recognized and I am to become the wife of Benedick. If this has not come to pass I shall instead burn this leader and throw out the ashes in a river for as the ashes sink to the bottom of the river and disintegrate so shall my feelings for Benedick sink to the bottom of my hollow heart and out of existence.

Beatrice: As I sleep tonight I dream of my beloved and what is to come, I shall sink into my feelings this once; for as these days to come I may no longer have feelings or a heart to sink into.