Much Ado About Nothing
How we cite our quotes:
God give me joy to wear it! for my heart is exceeding heavy. (3.4.24)
It’s Hero’s wedding day, and she should be really excited, but she’s not. Some camps might interpret this to mean that her feelings foreshadow the ills that will befall her at her wedding. Those of us who don’t believe in psychics see some other, more practical reasons. She’s about to marry a man who she has not (at least not on stage) had a single conversation with. All the other characters of the play have spent a good deal of time talking about what marriage means to them, but we have yet to hear Hero’s thoughts on her own wedding.
Of what, lady? of speaking honorably? Is not marriage
honorable in a beggar? Is not your lord honorable without
marriage? I think you would have me say, 'saving your reverence,
a husband.' An bad thinking do not wrest true speaking, I'll
offend nobody. Is there any harm in 'the heavier for a husband'?
None, I think, an it be the right husband and the right wife.
Otherwise 'tis light, and not heavy. Ask my Lady Beatrice else.
Here she comes. (3.4.29)
Margaret teases Hero while Hero is in bad spirits about marriage. Margaret’s celebration of marriage as honorable is couched in her bawdy allusion to sex, where one is made to feel a heavy burden (especially when one is lying under a husband). The base reality of sex is the starting point for Margaret to talk about honorable marriage, which makes marriage seem a little less stand-up, if you know what we mean.
'Tis almost five o'clock, cousin; 'tis time you were ready.
By my troth, I am exceeding ill. Heigh-ho! (3.4.52)
Remember that the earlier Beatrice said she’d cry "heigh-ho," to find a husband. As Hero is off to her wedding, Beatrice likely itching for Benedick to be her own husband. Beatrice’s suddenly becoming ill mirrors her cousin’s sickness, but Beatrice seems to be sick for want of a husband, while Hero is about to be unwanted by a would-be husband.