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It’s the morning of the wedding, and the scene is set in Hero’s bedroom.
Hero has sent Ursula off to go get Beatrice, and Margaret is helping Hero get dressed. They go back and forth fondly over what Hero should wear. Margaret describes the beautiful dress Hero will wear as full of gold, silver, and pearls, but Hero seems uncomfortable.
Hero hopes the dress will bring her joy, because she says her heart is heavy. Instead of noting that Hero is clearly unhappy and has a weird feeling, Margaret makes a joke about the fact that soon, Hero’s chest will be heavy under the weight of a husband. Hey-o! These people and their cheap sex jokes.
Beatrice (who also feels weird) enters and, as usual, becomes the focus of attention.
Margaret teases Beatrice and alludes to the fact that Beatrice might be in love.
Beatrice wonders when Margaret became so witty, but the last straw is when Margaret suggests Beatrice could be cured of her ailment by some holy thistle. Beatrice, like any person who hates love and worries other people might suspect her of being in love, flies off the handle.
Beatrice thinks there’s some hidden meaning to Margaret’s offer of holy thistle, called "Carduus Benedictus," especially since that particular thistle was thought to cure people of venomous bites. (Maybe venomous like the bite of love!)
Beatrice might also be tripped up on "Benedictus," which sounds like a certain someone’s name.
In response to Beatrice’s tizzy, Margaret basically says, "You think that I believe that you’re in love, but of course I don’t think that, wink wink!"
Still, Margaret points out that Benedick used to share Beatrice’s views on the absurdity of love. Lately, however, Benedick seems to have come around to thinking of love like every normal man does.
Margaret says, maybe there’s a chance that Beatrice could look on love with the eyes of a normal woman.
Beatrice is all, "What the hell are you saying?" But she gets interrupted by Ursula, who informs them that everyone is ready to take Hero to the church—where she will be married, or die!