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Summary Act 3



His mind ever on the country wench Jaquenetta, Don Adriano de Armado exhorts his page Moth to beguile his—Armado’s—sense of hearing. Moth obliges and sings a song, at the end of which Armado orders Moth to go fetch the clown Costard; Armado plans to send Jaquenetta a letter, employing Costard as go-between. Moth objects to Armado’s intention, however, insulting his master for acting like a fool and simultaneously arguing that it’s unbecoming of a man to grovel for a woman’s love with love-sick petitions. Though Armado is mentally too obtuse to realize when he is being insulted, for a moment Armado suspects that Moth is insulting his love-interest and by extension him (which Moth is indeed doing), but Moth dissuades him otherwise. By and by, after insulting Armado again only to make Armado think that he is being flattered, Moth goes and fetches Costard. Moth’s penchant to make fun of his master continues even with Costatd present, and as before Armado is mentally too obtuse to realize that Moth is making fun of him. Presently, Armado informs Costard what he would have Costard do: Deliver a letter to Jaquenetta on Armado’s behalf and he—Costard—will be rewarded with remuneration. Not sure what remuneration means Costard dwells on it, persuading himself that whatever it is, it’s worth striving for. Thus he is on his way to Jaquenetta when he is accosted by Lord Berowne who would like Costrd to deliver a letter on his behalf too (to Rosaline in Berowne’s case). At first, Costard tries to avoid performing the commission, but when Berowne gives him an incentive, money up front, calling it guerdon, Costard, arguing that he much prefers a guerdon to a remuneration, goes about to perform Berown’s commission. Meanwhile Berowne laments his condition as he is now acting like the very love-sick people whom he has always mocked. Morevorer, by doing what he is doing, Berowne will break his oath that he had given the King of Navarre Ferdinand. Nonetheless, Berowne knows he can’t help himself. 

William Shakespeare