Don Pedro wooed Hero and persuaded her that he was Claudio. What agreement did Don Pedro, Leonato, and Claudio reach? They will persuade Benedick that Beatrice loves him. They sent Beatrice to make Benedick seem bad in public.
Benedick had been told by Prince John that Don Pedro wanted to marry his daughter Hero to him. So when Don Pedro came to Messina to marry Maria, sister of Benedict, he agreed with Claudio that if they could not persuade Beatrice to love them, then they would go to Rome and have the pope decide who is right about her heart.
When Don Pedro arrived in Messina, he was surprised to see Claudio there. Don Pedro thought that maybe after all was forgiven between them, they might get married. But instead, they told him that Benedick was wrong about Beatrice. Don Pedro then asked Benedick to go to Rome to find out what kind of marriage Hero wants. When Benedick refused, Don Pedro said that they would go together so that they can prove to each other that Beatrice really does love only them.
In Rome, they met with Father Laurence, who told them that Beatrice has been mad since she was a child. She never knew who loved her most - her father or brother. Now that she's a woman, it seems she doesn't want to be married.
Don John and Borachio inform Claudio, who is disguised as Benedick behind his mask, that Don Pedro loves Hero. Don Pedro is accused by Benedick of duping him into falling in love with Beatrice. Benedick is enraged by his interaction with Beatrice. He vows to humiliate her by making fun of her love for Don Pedro.
Don Pedro confesses his love for Hero to Claudio. However, he insults her and they fight. During the fight, it is revealed that Don Pedro has been stabbed by Don John. Don Pedro dies in Claudio's arms. Heartbroken, Claudio leaves the stage crying.
Benedick finds out that Beatrice is being humiliated by Don Pedro's death and plans to kill himself. But, before he can commit suicide, he is stopped by Leonato who wants to know if Benedict knows anything about Don Pedro's murder. Since he does not, Leonato tells him that Prince Escalus and Claudio are going to find out what really happened during a trial by battle. At this point, Benedick decides to stay alive until the end of the battle.
During the trial, which takes place outside of Verona, all of the combatants except for Don John enter the battlefield wearing black clothes. This shows that they are all united in grief over Don Pedro's death.
Don Pedro chuckles and insists on his presence, but Benedick departs nonetheless. Don Pedro informs Claudio that Hero has consented to marry him (Claudio), and Leonato supports him. He obtains the promises of Leonato, Claudio, and Hero to assist him in his plot. Don Pedro then tells them he has arranged for Beatrice to marry him in order to secure a peace between France and England. He adds that when he dies, his brother Charles will be king and can end the war.
Benedick returns and hears of the plan to marry Hero to Claudio. He angrily leaves but later changes his mind after hearing that they have obtained Leonato's consent. He decides to go through with it even though he knows she loves him.
Meanwhile, Don John hears about the marriage plans and wants in on the action. He calls for Verona's mayor and announces that he is running for election as an opposing candidate to Borasca. This will cause trouble for them both since they are friends. Don John then goes ahead with his plan by getting Leo to drink too much and fall asleep on the couch. He then takes advantage of this situation and stabs him to death.
Borasca finds out about the murder and fears revenge from Don John. He calls a meeting with his friends and they decide to leave town until things die down. They all head off in different directions but soon realize that someone is following them.
Don Pedro proposes marriage to Beatrice after Claudio's misunderstanding is settled and he and Hero are engaged. They marry in the presence of Leontes, Polixenes, Camillo, and other friends. The ceremony is very formal and religious, but it seems to have no legal force as a contract. When Leontes finds out that his son has married without his permission, he flies into a rage and vows to kill him. Later, when Paulina tells him that Hermione is dead, he goes even more insane and blames Don Pedro for her death.
Don Pedro tries to protect himself by denying any knowledge of Hermione's whereabouts but this only makes Leontes hate him even more. Finally, Don Pedro is brought before Leontes who demands to know if he has married his daughter. Don Pedro says no and promises to find another wife for his son but Leontes doesn't believe him. He orders Don Pedro's execution and then leaves the room in anger.
Later, when Polixenes asks why Leontes has condemned his friend to death, Don Pedro's wife Beatrice explains that Leontes has lost his mind because his wife Hermione died. She also tells them that Don Pedro is not dead but has been sent away to avoid further bloodshed.
Claudio is great friends with Benedick and devoted to his prince, Don Pedro. However, he is easily duped into sulking with Don Pedro when he believes he has taken his sweetheart. Later on, he makes up with Don Pedro.
Pedro and Claudio are both members of the Order of Saint Francis who serve as their country's rulers in one form or another. However, they do not get along because Pedro likes to have a good time while Claudio takes himself too seriously. Despite this, both men are loyal to each other until their countries are at war with one another. Then they go back to fighting for each other's sides.
When England and France fight each other, Spain joins them in order to protect its interests. The two countries agree that one man will be chosen by each nation to rule over them. Don Pedro is chosen first so he can guide Spain through its civil wars. However, after he dies, Claudio becomes king instead.
As king, Claudio rules over Spain for ten years before dying of tuberculosis. His son, Ferdinand, then goes on to become King Ferdinand II.
Benedick is a friend of Claudio's who serves him well during his reign. However, it is Don Pedro who decides what role Benedick will play in future wars.
Don Pedro tells Claudio that he would assist him in winning Hero's heart and reconciling with her father, Leonato. Don Pedro intends to see Hero in disguise at the masked ball that evening.
Don Pedro's promise brings about a change in Claudio's attitude toward Hero. He now feels more confident of winning her heart.
Claudio asks Don Pedro to get him into the same room where Hero is staying so that they can talk privately. Don Pedro agrees but says that he needs permission from Leonato first. Leonato gives his consent after hearing that it is for a good cause (to save his daughter's life).
Claudio visits Hero in her room and tries to persuade her to run away with him. But she refuses saying that she cannot leave her father alone in danger. At this, Claudio accuses her of being too loyal and loving to be worthy of him. He calls her "a little wench" and leaves angrily.
Later that night, at the masked ball, everyone including Don Pedro is surprised to see Hero dressed as Countess Monteseueros. She has just arrived in Messina with her brother Antonio and their uncle Bergamo. As soon as she sees Claudio, she knows it is him but remains silent because she wants to give him time to speak first.