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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 #1

A doubtful warrant of immediate death,
Which though myself would gladly have embraced,
Yet the incessant weepings of my wife,
Weeping before for what she saw must come,
And piteous plainings of the pretty babes,
That mourned for fashion, ignorant what to fear,
Forced me to seek delays for them and me. (1.1.69-74)

Egeon shows that he puts duty to his family above his own needs and intuitions. He says he was ready to die, except for the complaints of his wife, and the consequent weeping of all of the children. He also shows that he accepts responsibility for his family – his duty to them as a husband and father is to figure out how to make things work.

Quote #2

A trusty villain, sir, that very oft,
When I am dull with care and melancholy,
Lightens my humor with his merry jests. (1.2.19-21)

It seems the relationship between S. Antipholus and S. Dromio extends beyond that of master/attendant. The two take delight in each other, and it seems S. Dromio’s even able to get his melancholy master into better spirits sometimes. This is more than duty – it’s friendship.

Quote #3

Perhaps some merchant hath invited him,
And from the mart he's somewhere gone to dinner.
Good sister, let us dine, and never fret.
A man is master of his liberty;
Time is their master, and when they see time
They'll go or come. If so, be patient, sister. (2.1.4-9)

Luciana seems to assert that a woman’s duty is to be patient, and they should be glad to do their duty to their men. (This is controversial, given Adriana’s position as the potential victim of her husband’s adultery.)

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