Synopsis by Craig Butler
The victorious Don Pedro is returning to Messina after his latest successful skirmish. His troops include his wicked brother Don John, young Claudio and Benedick, a witty confirmed bachelor from Padua. They are welcomed by the governor, Leonato, as well as by his beautiful daughter Hero and Hero's cousin Beatrice, the latter as confirmed in her maidenhood as Benedick is in his bachelorhood. Claudio quickly falls in love Hero, but through a series of complications, Leonato comes to believe it is Don Pedro that wishes to woo his daughter. Eventually, however, Hero and Claudio are brought together and their marriage plans are announced. At the same time, Don Pedro begins a campaign to bring Beatrice and Benedick together. Just before the wedding of the young lovers, Don John deceives Claudio and Don Pedro with lies about Hero's purity; at the wedding, Claudio denounces her as a whore and calls off the marriage. Beatrice concocts a plot to discover the source of these lies, said plot involving faking Hero's death. Don John is eventually unmasked as the perpetrator, the young couple again becomes engaged, and Beatrice and Benedick admit their attraction to each other and plan their own wedding.