Antonio, Beatrice, Hero, Margaret, Ursula, and the friar, Act V, scene iv, 1795
Excerpt for the scene summary: Antonio, Beatrice, Hero, Margaret, Ursula, and the friar prepare for the second wedding of Claudio and Hero. We learn from their conversation that Margaret has been interrogated, and that she is innocent of conspiring with Borachio and Don John—she never realized that she was taking part in Don John’s treachery. Benedick is also very relieved that Don John’s trick has come to light, for now he does not need to fight his friend Claudio. Quietly, Benedick also takes Leonato aside and asks him for his permission to marry Beatrice. Don Pedro and Claudio enter, and Antonio goes off to fetch the masked women. While they are waiting, Don Pedro and Claudio tease Benedick about his love for Beatrice and about the fact that he will soon be married, although they do not know that he actually does plan to be married that very day. Hero, Beatrice, and the waiting women enter, all wearing masks. Claudio vows to marry the masked woman by his side, whom he believes to be Leonato’s mysterious niece. But when Hero takes off her mask, the shocked Claudio realizes that it really is Hero. Leonato and Hero tell him that now that Hero’s name has been cleared, she can figuratively come back to life and be his wife, as she should have been before.
Link to the full summary and the information source: SparkNotes, "Much Ado about Nothing" - http://www.sparknotes.com/shakespeare/muchado/section10.rhtml
Image Source: Circulating Collection, Print and Picture Collection, Free Library of Philadelphia. Subject: "Much Ado About Nothing" – Shakespeare.
Original source: Engraved by James Fittler from a painting by Francis Wheatley, R.A., Published June 4, 1795 by J & J Bovdell, Shakespeare Gallery, Pall Mall, E. No. 90, Cheapfide.