Don Pedro is the well-liked Prince of Aragon. Leonato likes Don Pedro. He is excited to hear of his visit. He is willing to allow Hero to marry him. “We will hold it as a dream till it appear itself”1.2.17 Claudio also likes and trusts him enough to share his secret feelings for Hero and then allows him to woo Hero in his name.
He seems to be a good-hearted matchmaker. He facilitates the marriage between Hero and Claudio. Claudio was too shy to approach Hero so Don Pedro jumps at the chance to play cupid. He charms Hero and wins her heart then approaches her father Leonato and reinforces the union by sweet-talking him too.
After setting Claudio and Hero up, Don Pedro goes about another cupid mission. He facilitates the love between Beatrice and Benedick by plotting another scheme. In this plan, Claudio, Leonato and Don Pedro meet where they know Benedick is and can over hear their talk. They talk of Beatrice’s undying love for Benedick convincing him, by means of eavesdropping, to woo her.
Don John, on the other hand, hates Don Pedro enough to try to ruin his life. “I’d rather be a canker in hedge than a rose in / his grace…”1.3.21-22
At the supper Don John instigates a fight between Don Pedro and Claudio by telling Claudio that Don Pedro loves Hero and wants to marry her. (Meanwhile Don Pedro is wooing Hero for Claudio). Claudio gets suspicious and believes the prank. When Benedick summons Claudio and lets him know that Don Pedro has accomplished his goal Claudio answers “I wish him joy of her” 2.1.170 thinking Don Pedro has won Hero for himself.
Don John fixes that mix-up with an intervention including Don Pedro, Hero, Beatrice, Leonato and Claudio. Claudio is speechless but after prompting from Beatrice replies “Silence is the perfect herald of joy.” 2.1.267
So is Don Pedro an angelic matchmaker? So far it seems he may be, but there is the issue of the extreme hatred from Don John. Is there more to Don Pedro than we see? Why does Don John hate him so much? Is jealousy enough to cause this much hatred? Will there be a happy ending for Don Pedro?