Every Man in His Humour


Ben Jonson

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Every Man in His Humour: Act 3, Scene 4 Summary & Analysis

As Kitely departs, Cob comes by. He is ranting to himself about “fasting days.” Cash asks him what has moved him to “this choler.” Cash tells Cob that he’s probably distressed because of his “humour,” which he describes as a “gentleman-like monster, bred in the special gallantry of our time by affectation; and fed by folly.”
This discussion foregrounds the role of the four humours in the play. But, as with Cash and Cob’s grasp of the medical theory, the theory of the humours is applied quite vaguely throughout. Jonson’s intention is to have his characters dominated by particular characteristics, which is similar to the idea of an imbalance of the humours but not rendered in precisely the same way. This conversation also reminds the audience of one of the play’s main themes: human folly.
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