The Comedy of Errors

And thereof came it that the man was mad


The Comedy of Errors

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Age Range
Act 5 Scene 1
Time & Place
Epheus, sixteenth-century
Time Period
Show Type

Monologue Context

Emilia, an abbess in Epheus, is protecting the Syracusan twins within the sanctuary

Monologue Text

And thereof came it that the man was mad.

The venom clamours of a jealous woman

Poisons more deadly than a mad dog's tooth.

It seems his sleeps were hinder'd by thy railing,

And therefore comes it that his head is light.

Thou say'st his meat was sauced with thy upbraidings:

Unquiet meals make ill digestions;

Thereof the raging fire of fever bred;

And what's a fever but a fit of madness?

Thou say'st his sports were hinderd by thy brawls:

Sweet recreation barr'd, what doth ensue

But moody and dull melancholy,

Kinsman to grim and comfortless despair,

And at her heels a huge infectious troop

Of pale distemperatures and foes to life?

In food, in sport and life-preserving rest

To be disturb'd, would mad or man or beast:

The consequence is then thy jealous fits

Have scared thy husband from the use of wits.

William Shakespeare The Comedy of Errors Act 5 sc.1 ll.69-87

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