All's Well That Ends Well
How we cite our quotes:
But follows it, my lord, to bring me down
Must answer for your raising? I know her well:
She had her breeding at my father's charge.
A poor physician's daughter my wife! Disdain
Rather corrupt me ever!
[...] Here comes my clog. (2.3.3)
It's not surprising that Bertram sees himself as a man trapped by marriage. After all, he didn't even have a choice in the matter. Here, though, he calls Helen a "clog," a big block that's tied to animals to keep them from running away. In other words, he's pretty much calling his wife an old ball and chain. Does this make us less sympathetic toward Bertram?
war is no strife
To the dark house and the detested wife. (2.4.5)
The idea that running off to war is preferable to staying at home with one's wife is an idea we hear over and over again in this play. Paroles says something similar: he tells Bertram that men who stay at home with their wives instead of fighting are no better than "jades," female horses that are used for breeding (2.3.33). In other words, being a loyal and loving husband is tantamount to being a wimp.
Go thou toward home; where I will never come
Whilst I can shake my sword or hear the drum.
Away, and for our flight. (2.5.17)
We weren't kidding when we said that husbands in this play would rather go to war than stay at home with their spouses.