Spanish prince Don Pedro arrives in Messina following a victory, along with his righthand men, Benedick and Claudio. The local governor welcomes them with open arms, and Claudio falls in love with his daughter, Hero. Benedick, however, is greeted by Beatrice, the governor's niece and a longtime rival. While Beatrice and Benedick trade smart and stinging barbs, Claudio plans to court and marry Hero. But the two couples are oblivious to the scheming of Don John, Don Pedro's bitter and malicious brother, whose lies threaten to sabotage their blossoming relationships.