Beatrice is Hero’s older witty cousin, who knows Benedick of old, and is reluctant to confess her love for him. She is tricked into confessing her love, and soon puts this love to the test when she asks Benedick to kill his friend Claudio for dishonouring Hero on her wedding day.
Benedick is a soldier and a bachelor, who is tricked into acknowledging his love for Beatrice. Benedick has a sharp wit, but shows himself to be an honourable gentleman in his support for Hero who is wrongly accused of infidelity by her groom Claudio.
Claudio is a young soldier who is tricked into believing that his bride-to-be (Hero) has been unfaithful. He mourns her supposed death, but thanks to a trick is re-united with her at the close.
Hero is a young woman who has her wedding day destroyed by a false accusation of infidelity. She is reunited with her shamed husband Claudio at the end of the play, but only after his love for her has been put to the test.