Every Man in His Humour

by

Ben Jonson

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Every Man in His Humour: Act 4, Scene 11 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Brainworm, now disguised as a constable, encounters Matthew and Bobadil on a street. He tells them that he is on his way to arrest Downright. As Stephen comes in wearing Downright’s cloak, Brainworm puts him under arrest.
Brainworm takes on his third disguise, which he has procured through pawning Roger Formal’s clothes. His intentions aren’t completely clear, but, as with earlier in the play, he gets swept up in events as the present themselves.
Themes
Human Folly Theme Icon
Authenticity Theme Icon
Stephen protests his innocence; Bobadil points out that he is wearing the same cloak as Downright. Just then, Downright comes in. Brainworm in turn tries to serve him with the warrant on Matthew and Bobadil’s behalf; Downright agrees to go before Justice Clement.
The quibble over the cloak is in keeping with the instability of identity coursing throughout the play. Downright is a law-abiding citizen and respects what he thinks is his genuine arrest.
Themes
Human Folly Theme Icon
Authenticity Theme Icon
Downright asks for his cloak back. With Stephen refusing, Downright tells Brainworm to arrest him for being a thief. Stephen gives him the cloak but is forced to go to Justice Clement anyway. Brainworm tries to talk him out of it, but Downright is insistent. In fact, Downright promises to beat Brainworm if he refuses to arrest Stephen. They all head to Justice Clement’s house.
Likewise, Downright’s law-abiding nature and his no-nonsense approach cause him to seek justice against Stephen. The characters are all, then, maneuvered towards Justice Clement, where they will receive their judgments.
Themes
Human Folly Theme Icon
Authenticity Theme Icon