Act V - Scene III

[The Inside of a Church]

[Enter Claudio, Prince Don Pedro, and three or four with tapers.]

Is this the monument of Leonato?
It is, my lord.

[Reads from a scroll]

Done to death by slanderous tongues
Was the Hero that here lies.
Death, in guerdon of her wrongs,(5)
Gives her fame which never dies.
So the life that died with shame
Lives in death with glorious fame.

Hang thou there upon the tomb,
[Hanging up the scroll.]

Praising her when I am dumb.(10)
Now, music, sound, and sing your solemn hymn.

Pardon, goddess of the night,
Those that slew thy virgin knight;
For the which, with songs of woe,
Round about her tomb they go.(15)
Midnight, assist our moan,
Help us to sigh and groan
Heavily, heavily,
Graves, yawn and yield your dead,
Till death be uttered(20)
Heavily, heavily.

Now unto thy bones good night!
Yearly will I do this rite.
Good morrow, masters. Put your torches out.
The wolves have preyed, and look, the gentle day,(25)
Before the wheels of Phoebus, round about
Dapples the drowsy east with spots of grey.
Thanks to you all, and leave us. Fare you well.
Good morrow, masters. Each his several way.
Come, let us hence and put on other weeds,(30)
And then to Leonato's we will go.
And Hymen now with luckier issue speeds
Than this for whom we rendered up this woe.


  1. A “monument” in this context is the family’s tomb. In Elizabethan England, rich families would be buried together in a single tomb or mausoleum. Claudio and the Prince are here because they believe Hero is dead.

    — Caitlin, Owl Eyes Staff
  2. Claudio and everyone else, except the Friar, believe Hero to be dead, and Claudio makes this speech at what he believes to be her tomb. "Slanderous" means false and malicious, which here has double meaning: Claudio and Hero's father both viciously denounced her for unfaithfulness, causing her to fall into a dead faint. However, Claudio was duped into believing this, and so the perpetrators of the lie could also be considered "slanderous tongues."

    — Wesley, Owl Eyes Editor
  3. Hymen, the god of marriage, will cause this marriage to be happier than the first (that is, between Hero and Claudio) that was so disastrous.

    — Stephen Holliday
  4. Don Pedro refers to Phoebus (also, Apollo), the sun god, who is riding his chariot through the sky (a metaphor for the sun's journey through the sky)

    — Stephen Holliday