In the beautiful city of Messina, its governor, Leonato, is visited by his friend Don Pedro, who is returning from war. Accompanying Don Pedro are two of his officers: Benedick and Count Claudio. Whilst in Messina, Count Claudio falls for Leonato's daughter Hero, while Benedick verbally spars with Beatrice, the governor's niece. With Claudio and Hero falling in love, Don Pedro and Leonato arrange for the young couple to marry.
In the days leading up to the ceremony, Don Pedro, Leonato, Claudio and Hero, attempt to trick Benedick and Beatrice into falling in love. Meanwhile, the dastardly Don John, with the help of his allies, Conrade and Borachio, plot against the happy couple, using his own form of trickery to try to destroy the marriage before it even begins.