Every Man in His Humour


Ben Jonson

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Every Man in His Humour: Act 2, Scene 3 Summary & Analysis

Cob comes by, delivering water. Kitely laments the fact that he ever let Wellbred into his house, doubling down on his worry that he is likely to be cuckolded: “Beware, / When mutual appetite doth meet to treat […] It is no slow conspiracy that follows.”
This marks the beginning of Kitely’s increasing paranoia about being cuckolded. Essentially, he fears that a “mutual” attraction between his wife and Wellbred can only lead to one thing.
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Dame Kitely and Mistress Bridget Kitely (Kitely’s sister) arrive. Dame Kitely sees that Kitely looks agitated and asks him whether he is feeling okay. Kitely feigns having a fever; his wife asks him to come in out of the cold. In an aside on his way into the house, Kitely worries about his growing jealousy and resolves to try to “shake the fever off, that thus shakes me.”
Kitely fakes a fever to hide his growing jealousy. His closing comment links physical health with mental wellbeing, in keeping with the scheme of the four humours (which was also linked to the elements and the seasons).
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