Every Man in His Humour


Ben Jonson

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Every Man in His Humour: Act 3, Scene 6 Summary & Analysis

Cob arrives at Justice Clement’s house and tells him of Wellbred’s arrival there with his entourage. Kitely panics about the “swarm” stinging his “head / With forked stings.” In an aside, Kitely shows how gripped he is by the thought that he has been cuckolded. He tries to tell himself to “be of good cheer” as “’tis done.”
Kitely’s image relates to idea of the “cuckold” as having horns. Kitely has no evidence of his wife’s adultery—it’s all in his head. Thus here he is coming to terms with something that he doesn’t know for sure actually exists.
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Kitely frantically asks Cob which of the gang kissed his wife first. Cob insists that he didn’t see any kissing at all, but this doesn’t allay Kitely’s fears. He rushes back to his house, expecting to catch Dame Kitely in the act. Though he tries to bring Cob with him, Cob insists on staying to speak with Justice Clement about Bobadil’s attack on him.
Kitely has fantasized a whole scenario in which he is cuckolded. These scenes ramp up the absurdism of the play, with characters rushing frantically to and fro in pursuit of one another, propelled by their foolishness.
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