The play is set out in five acts. This is a typical structure that follows a pattern of building to a climax or important turning point – in this case, the rejection of Hero at the altar. The final act sees the truth come out, everyone reconciled and ends with happy marriages, music and dancing.
When writing about structure, think about:
The tension begins in this play with the light-hearted fighting between Beatrice and Benedick. There is a hint of unpleasant deeds to follow when we meet the bad-tempered Don John in Act 1 and we watch his plot to undo Claudio unfurl. Alongside his evil trickery, there is the parallel, but well-intentioned, misleading of Beatrice and Benedick by their friends. As one couple are pulled apart, the other is drawn together. Each pair is the victim of nothing more than words and false appearances, which relates to the title of the play.
How important is the overall structure of this play?