The Comedy of Errors
How we cite our quotes:
To Adriana! that is where we din'd,
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. (4.1.109)
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.
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
wak'd with it when I sleep; rais'd with it when I sit; driven
out of doors with it when I go from home; welcom'd home
with it when I return; nay, I bear it on my shoulders as
beggar wont her brat; and I think, when he hath lam'd me,
I shall beg with it from door to door. (4.4.30)
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.
LUCIANA. She never reprehended him but mildly,
When he demean'd himself rough, rude, and wildly.
Why bear you these rebukes, and answer not?
ADRIANA. She did betray me to my own reproof. (5.1.87)
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.