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The Comedy of Errors

The Comedy of Errors

  

by William Shakespeare

 Table of Contents

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 #7

S. DROMIO
To Adriana. That is where we dined,
Where Dowsabel did claim me for her husband.
She is too big, I hope, for me to compass.
Thither I must, although against my will,
For servants must their masters' minds fulfill. (4.1.111-115)

S. Dromio seems to ignore all of the craziness going on by focusing on his duty. Even the Ephesian madness doesn’t make any sense, he’s just going to do as he’s told, because it’s his duty. Just as S. Antipholus hides behind cheap explanations of sorcery to excuse himself from finding the complex truth of the matter, S. Dromio hides behind duty.

Quote #8

E. DROMIO
I have served him from
the hour of my nativity to this instant, and have
nothing at his hands for my service but blows.
When I am cold he heats me with beating; when I
am warm he cools me with beating. I am waked
with it when I sleep, raised with it when I sit,
driven out of doors with it when I go from home,
welcomed home with it when I return. Nay, I bear it
on my shoulders as beggar wont her brat, and I
think when he hath lamed me, I shall beg with it
from door to door. (4.4.33-43)

E. Dromio, like S. Dromio, recognizes that he’s longsuffering. Though he chafes under it, it’s all he’s known since the moment he was born. It’s his duty to care for and endure his master. Still, it seems like E. Antipholus’s relationship with E. Dromio is less friendly and warm than S. Antipholus’s relationship with S. Dromio, which is revealing about either brother.

Quote #9

LUCIANA. She never reprehended him but mildly
When he demeaned himself rough, rude, and
   wildly.—
Why bear you these rebukes and answer not?
ADRIANA. She did betray me to my own reproof.— (5.1.90-94)

This is really interesting – though Luciana has been counseling her sister to relax, she’s the one who stands up against the Abbess on Adriana’s behalf. In contrast, Adriana shuts her mouth, lays down, and takes it. Even before this lecture, she’s kind of known that it was her wifely duty to be quiet and un-nagging (no matter how much she was wronged). The Abbess serves as a reminder to Adriana of her duty.

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