Like all plays written by William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing has many characters of varying ages as well as a wide array of sub plots. Below is a list of characters in the piece, with a brief outline of their roles in the action.
Leonato – The Governor of the court of Messina. Leonato is the father of Hero.
Don Pedro – The Prince of Aragon. Don Pedro is visiting Messina after a successful battle and is accompanied by his soliders and friends, Claudio, Benedick, Don Pedro and Don John.
Claudio – A count from Florence and friend of Don Pedro and Benedick. Claudio becomes Hero’s love interest.
Benedick – A lord and a soldier of Don Pedro’s. Benedick is a good friend to Claudio and Don Pedro. He is the on/off love interest of Beatrice.
Don John – The mischievous illegitimate brother of Don Pedro. Don John is referred to as “the Bastard Prince” and causes the chaos on which the drama is hinged.
Hero – Leonato’s daughter and love interest of Claudio.
Beatrice – Leonato’s niece, Hero’s cousin and friend. Beatrice is the on/off love interest of Benedick.
Margaret – Hero’s attendant and lover of Borachio
Ursula – Hero’s attendant
Borachio – A loyal follower of Don John
Conrade – A loyal follower of Don John
Antonio – Leonato’s brother
Dogberry – A comic character/ fool. Dogberry is the Messina night watchman.
Verges – Dogberry’s partner
Friar Francis – A trusting priest
Balthasar – Don Pedro’s musical attendant
A Boy – Server to Benedick
A Sexton – A Judge
The Watch – Multiple watchmaen of Messina
Assorted Messengers and Attendants
Much Ado About Nothing has enjoyed a rich performance history, with many famous names taking on roles in the show.
The roles of Benedick and Beatrice seem to attract the biggest names, for example former Benedick’s have included Kenneth Branagh, Alan Bates, Derek Jacobi, David Tennant and John Gielgud and former Beatrice’s have included Catherine Tate, Tamsin Greig and Emma Thompson. For a more detail description of who has performed what role in Much Ado About Nothing, visit our Past Productions page.