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After military campaigns, Don Pedro, the Prince of Aragon, arrives at the house of Leonato with his men, including Benedick, Claudio, and the prince's brother Don John. Claudio falls in love with Hero, Leonato's daughter, while Benedick and Beatrice, Leonato's niece, exchange witty insults and swear they will never marry, although their friends insist that they are falling in love with each other. Don Pedro arranges for Claudio to marry Hero, but Don John tricks him into believing Hero has been unfaithful to him. On the wedding day, Claudio angrily denounces Hero and she faints and appears to have died. Benedick challenges Claudio to a duel, saying he is doing if for Beatrice. Then Don John's plot is uncovered by the comic local constables, Dogberry and Verges. Claudio tries to make amends for what has happened, and is asked to marry a cousin of Hero's, who, when she is unveiled, turns out to be Hero herself, recovered from her faint. Benedick and Beatrice finally make wedding plans too, and the play ends in a joyful dance.
—Summary taken from The World of Shakespeare.
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