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The Comedy of Errors Duty Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Act.Scene.Line). Line numbers correspond to the Riverside edition.

Quote #4

So thou, that hast no unkind mate to grieve thee,
With urging helpless patience would relieve me;
But if thou live to see like right bereft,
This fool-begged patience in thee will be left.
Well, I will marry one day, but to try. (2.1.38-42)

Luciana’s response to Adriana’s strident challenge seems to reveal that Luciana views marriage as some kind of necessity; she’ll try the holy union even if she might fail at being a good wife, or, worse, getting hurt. This quote shows how her duty to marry is an ought in women’s lives. (This stance is also in contrast to Shakespeare’s more headstrong, anti-marriage heroines, like Beatrice from Mucho Ado About Nothing.)

Quote #5

Because that I familiarly sometimes
Do use you for my fool and chat with you,
Your sauciness will jest upon my love
And make a common of my serious hours.
When the sun shines let foolish gnats make sport,
But creep in crannies when he hides his beams.
If you will jest with me, know my aspect,
And fashion your demeanor to my looks,
Or I will beat this method in your sconce. (2.2.26-34)

S. Antipholus reiterates that S. Dromio is his servant, regardless of the warm relationship they have together. The insinuation is that S. Dromio should tend to his duty before he tends to the tenuous friendship between the men. It seems the master/servant relationship is well-defined between the two, all the while their friendship is delicate and dependent upon S. Dromio’s performance as a servant. By beating and lecturing S. Dromio, S. Antipholus proves that he won’t hesitate to remind S. Dromio of his place.

Quote #6

She that doth call me husband, even my soul
Doth for a wife abhor. But her fair sister,
Possessed with such a gentle sovereign grace,
Of such enchanting presence and discourse,
Hath almost made me traitor to myself.
But lest myself be guilty to self wrong,
I'll stop mine ears against the mermaid's song. (3.2.175-181)

S. Antipholus has decided his first duty should be to himself, even if he doesn’t exactly have a perfect notion of his own identity. He trades his love for Luciana for safety against the threat of "self-wrong."

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