The Comedy of Errors
How we cite our quotes:
LUCIANA. And may it be that you have quite forgot
A husband's office? Shall, Antipholus,
Even in the spring of love, thy love-springs rot? (3.2.1)
Luciana points out that it’s not only women who are restricted by marriage – men have obligations in marriage, too. Marriage demands concessions from both genders.
While I go to the goldsmith's house, go thou
And buy a rope's end; that will I bestow
Among my wife and her confederates,
For locking me out of my doors by day. (4.1.15)
Up to this point, we might have felt like Adriana was being particularly shrewish or possessive of her husband. Actually, though, E. Antipholus’s intention to beat his wife with a rope once he gets home reveals that the pair is pretty equally matched in their marital shrewness. Even if they don’t intend to actually hurt or hate each other, they’re both capable of some pretty nasty sentiments.
I will attend my husband, be his nurse,
Diet his sickness, for it is my office,
And will have no attorney but myself;
And therefore let me have him home with me. (5.1.98)
Adriana is hell-bent on being a good wife, regardless of whether her husband is unfaithful or insane. We wonder if she’s been shamed into this position of having to prove her salt as a good and obedient woman.