Much Ado About Nothing is one of my favourite Shakespeare plays. Thought to be written between 1598 and 1599, this play has everything we demand from a Shakespearean comedy: wit, deception and plenty of romance. The play is set in Messina, on the island of Sicily, which is located just at the tip of the Italian main land. Most of the action occurs at Leonato’s estate, which is typically a opulent and idyllic setting for romance and chaos to ensue. In this page we’ve listed the best male monologues from Much Ado About Nothing. if you are looking for a fun, light Shakespeare monologue, you’ve come to the right place.
Leonato: is a well respected elderly noble, who is the host to the action of the play. Leonato is also the father of Hero, Claudio’s intended wife, and the uncle to Beatrice, Benedick’s soon to be wife. He is governor of Messina and only Don Pedro is more powerful in social rank. Though he is high status he is playful, and easy going. He enjoys being the host and loves to have fun.
Benedick: played famously by Kenneth Branagh, Benedick is a man impervious to marriage, well so we think. He is full of wit, and energy and is a perfect match for the feisty Beatrice. He is a wickedly fun character to play and if you are looking for a comical Shakesepeare monologue, look no further.
Claudio: is typically seen as the standard lover. He is more compliant and doesn’t have the independence or wit of Benedick. He is madly in love with Hero, the daughter of Leonato. In the monologue listed here, he believes Hero has cheated on him with Don John, which is untrue.
Much Ado Male Monologues
Benedick: I do much wonder that one man, seeing how much another man is a fool when he dedicates his behaviors to love, will, after he hath laughed at such shallow follies in others, become the argument of his own scorn by falling in love: and such a man is Claudio. I have known when there was no music with him but the drum and the fife; and now had he rather hear the tabour and the pipe: I have known when he would have walked ten mile a-foot to see a good armour; and now will he lie ten nights awake, carving the fashion of a new doublet. He was wont to speak plain and to the purpose, like an honest man and a soldier; and now is he turned orthography; his words are a very fantastical banquet, just so many strange dishes. May I be so converted and see with these eyes? I cannot tell; I think not: I will not be sworn, but love may transform me to an oyster; but I’ll take my oath on it, till he have made an oyster of me, he shall never make me such a fool. One woman is fair, yet I am well; another is wise, yet I am well; another virtuous, yet I am well; but till all graces be in one woman, one woman shall not come in my grace. Rich she shall be, that’s certain; wise, or I’ll none; virtuous, or I’ll never cheapen her; fair, or I’ll never look on her; mild, or come not near me; noble, or not I for an angel; of good discourse, an excellent musician, and her hair shall be of what colour it please God. Ha! the prince and Monsieur Love! I will hide me in the arbour.
Benedick Act 2 Scene 3
Benedick: This can be no trick: the conference was sadly borne; they have the truth of this from Hero. They seem to pity the lady: it seems her affections have their full bent. Love me! Why, it must be requited. I hear how I am censured: they say I will bear myself proudly, if I perceive the love come from her; they say too that she will rather die than give any sign of affection. I did never think to marry: I must not seem proud: happy are they that hear their detractions and can put them to mending. They say the lady is fair — ’tis a truth, I can bear them witness; and virtuous — ’tis so, I cannot reprove it; and wise, but for loving me— by my troth, it is no addition to her wit, nor no great argument of her folly, for I will be horribly in love with her. I may chance have some odd quirks and remnants of wit broken on me because I have railed so long against marriage: but doth not the appetite alter? A man loves the meat in his youth that he cannot endure in his age. Shall quips and sentences and these paper bullets of the brain awe a man from the career of his humour? No, the world must be peopled. When I said I would die a bachelor, I did not think I should live till I were married. Here comes Beatrice. By this day, she’s a fair lady! I do spy some marks of love in her.
Claudio Act 4 Scene 1
Claudio: There, Leonato, take her back again:
Give not this rotten orange to your friend;
She’s but the sign and semblance of her honour.
Behold how like a maid she blushes here!
O, what authority and show of truth
Can cunning sin cover itself withal!
Comes not that blood as modest evidence
To witness simple virtue? Would you not swear,
All you that see her, that she were a maid,
By these exterior shows? But she is none:
She knows the heat of a luxurious bed;
Her blush is guiltiness, not modesty.
Leonato Act 4 Scene 1
Leonato: Wherefore! Why, doth not every earthly thing
Cry shame upon her? Could she here deny
The story that is printed in her blood?
Do not live, Hero; do not ope thine eyes:
For, did I think thou wouldst not quickly die,
Thought I thy spirits were stronger than thy shames,
Myself would, on the rearward of reproaches,
Strike at thy life. Grieved I, I had but one?
Chid I for that at frugal nature’s frame?
O, one too much by thee! Why had I one?
Why ever wast thou lovely in my eyes?
Why had I not with charitable hand
Took up a beggar’s issue at my gates,
Who smirch’d thus and mired with infamy,
I might have said ‘No part of it is mine;
This shame derives itself from unknown loins’?
But mine and mine I loved and mine I praised
And mine that I was proud on, mine so much
That I myself was to myself not mine,
Valuing of her, why, she, O, she is fallen
Into a pit of ink, that the wide sea
Hath drops too few to wash her clean again
And salt too little which may season give
To her foul-tainted flesh!
Leonato Act 5 Scene 1
Leonato: I pray thee cease thy counsel,
Which falls into mine ears as profitless
As water in a sieve. Give not me counsel,
Nor let no comforter delight mine ear
But such a one whose wrongs do suit with mine.
Bring me a father that so loved his child,
Whose joy of her is overwhelmed like mine,
And bid him speak of patience.
Measure his woe the length and breadth of mine,
And let it answer every strain for strain,
As thus for thus, and such a grief for such,
In every lineament, branch, shape, and form.
If such a one will smile and stroke his beard,
Bid sorrow wag, cry ‘hem’ when he should groan,
Patch grief with proverbs, make misfortune drunk
With candle-wasters — bring him yet to me,
And I of him will gather patience.
But there is no such man; for, brother, men
Can counsel and speak comfort to that grief
Which they themselves not feel; but, tasting it,
Their counsel turns to passion, which before
Would give preceptial medicine to rage,
Fetter strong madness in a silken thread,
Charm ache with air and agony with words.
No, no! ‘Tis all men’s office to speak patience
To those that wring under the load of sorrow,
But no man’s virtue nor sufficiency
To be so moral when he shall endure
The like himself. Therefore give me no counsel.
My griefs cry louder than advertisement.
In this monologue Leonato is in grief after his daughter has been accused of infidelity. He is talking to Antonio, who is trying to comfort him. He is emotionally charged and dealing with many different emotions.