Every Man in His Humour

by

Ben Jonson

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Captain Bobadil Character Analysis

Bobadil is a braggart soldier who lodges at Cob’s house. He is extremely boastful, talking constantly about his exploits in this war or that. He takes on Matthew as a protégé, teaching him his self-professed knowledge of swordsmanship and dueling. Bobadil enters a feud with Downright, who embarrasses the captain by disarming him with ease. Bobadil, afraid of the dent to his reputation, tries to make increasingly desperate excuses about his cowardly behavior; he later seeks to get Downright arrested. In the play’s closing resolution at Justice Clement’s, the judge reserves special scorn for Bobadil, perceiving his inauthenticity and lack of bravery to be especially damning characteristics.

Captain Bobadil Quotes in Every Man in His Humour

The Every Man in His Humour quotes below are all either spoken by Captain Bobadil or refer to Captain Bobadil . For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
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). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Oxford University Press edition of Every Man in His Humour published in 2009.
Act 5, Scene 2 Quotes

JUSTICE CLEMENT: Nay, keep out, sir; I know not your pretence. You send me word, sir, you are a soldier: why, sir, you shall be answered, here, here be them that have been amongst soldiers. Sir, your pleasure.

BOBADIL: Faith, sir, so it is, this gentleman, and myself, have been most uncivilly wronged, and beaten, by one Downright, a coarse fellow, about the town, here, and for mine own part, I protest, being a man in no sort given to this filthy humour of quarrelling, he hath assaulted me in the way of my peace; despoiled me of mine honour; disarmed me of my weapons; and rudely, laid me along, in the open streets: when I not so much as once offered to resist him.

JUSTICE CLEMENT: Oh God's precious! Is this the soldier? Here, take my armour off quickly, ‘twill make him swoon, I fear; he is not fit to look on't, that will put up a blow.

Related Characters: Captain Bobadil (speaker), Justice Clement (speaker), Wellbred, Downright
Related Symbols: Swords
Page Number: 90-91
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 5, Scene 5 Quotes

EDWARD: We are the more bound to your humanity, sir.

JUSTICE CLEMENT: Only these two have so little of man in ‘em, they are no part of my care.

Related Characters: Edward Knowell (speaker), Justice Clement (speaker), Master Matthew, Captain Bobadil
Page Number: 95
Explanation and Analysis:
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Captain Bobadil Character Timeline in Every Man in His Humour

The timeline below shows where the character Captain Bobadil appears in Every Man in His Humour. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1, Scene 4
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...house of Cob the water-bearer, wondering if the latter man knows the whereabouts of Captain Bobadil. They banter a little, with Cob claiming to be descended from a royal line of... (full context)
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Cob explains that Bobadil is asleep on a bench inside his house; Matthew goes in to look for him.... (full context)
Act 1, Scene 5
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Matthew finds Captain Bobadil, a braggart soldier, inside Cob’s house. They talk about the drunken night before, and Bobadil... (full context)
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Bobadil notices that Matthew is carrying a copy of The Spanish Tragedy by Thomas Kyd. They... (full context)
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Matthew complains to Bobadil about an argument he had with Downright, the no-nonsense half-brother of Wellbred, about men’s fashion.... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 2
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Matthew and Bobadil enter, looking for Wellbred. They leave when Kitely explains that he did not return to... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 1
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In a street near the Windmill tavern, Matthew and Bobadil tell Wellbred that they were looking for him earlier. Bobadil tries to complain to Wellbred... (full context)
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...Old Knowell contrived to read Wellbred’s letter. Wellbred promises Edward that he will enjoy listening—and mocking—Bobadil and Matthew, whom he calls his two “wind-instruments.” Likewise, replies Edward, Stephen will bring amusement... (full context)
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Bobadil, who has been musing quietly, boasts about his achievements in battle. He claims to have... (full context)
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Stephen, excited by all the talk of swords, shows Bobadil his new purchase, claiming that it, like the one Bobadil talks of, is from Spanish... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 5
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Wellbred, Edward, Brainworm, Bobadil, Matthew, and Stephen arrive. Edward and Wellbred are praising Brainworm for his skill as an... (full context)
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Bobadil takes out some “Trinidado” tobacco, praising it gushingly as the most “divine” tobacco he knows.... (full context)
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Bobadil and Matthew go inside, with the latter hoping to charm Mistress Bridget with his “verse.”... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 6
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...to bring Cob with him, Cob insists on staying to speak with Justice Clement about Bobadil’s attack on him. (full context)
Act 3, Scene 7
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...him leave so abruptly. Cob approaches Justice Clement to ask for an arrest warrant for Bobadil. (full context)
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Justice Clement laughs at Bobadil’s reason for attacking Cob—the insult over tobacco—and instead orders Formal to send Cob to jail.... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 2
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Bridget, Matthew, Bobadil, Wellbred, Stephen, Edward, and Brainworm all enter at Kitely’s house. Matthew intends to read some... (full context)
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...somewhere else.” He criticizes the company Wellbred keeps and, suddenly, both men draw their weapons. Bobadil draws his sword too. The others separate them as Cash enters. (full context)
Act 4, Scene 3
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...commotion. Wellbred blames it on “one of my brother’s ancient humours” and leaves, with Stephen, Bobadil, Matthew, Edward and Brainworm in tow. Downright rants about Wellbred, Bobadil, and Matthew. Bridget criticizes... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 4
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...his wife, Tib, thinking she has cuckolded him. Cob confusedly accuses Tib of sleeping with Bobadil. He orders her to go inside, lock the door and let nobody in. He waves... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 7
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Matthew, Edward, Bobadil, and Stephen speak disparagingly about Downright. Bobadil states that, with what he taught Matthew earlier... (full context)
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Bobadil boasts of his past exploits in fighting, acting out as he does so. He brags... (full context)
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...Downright arrives. Amazed that he has run into “these bragging rascals” yet again, he tells Bobadil to draw his sword. Bobadil tries to back out of the fight; Downright quickly and... (full context)
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Downright leaves. Bobadil tries to excuse his cowardly behavior to Edward and Stephen by claiming he is bound... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 9
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Bobadil and Matthew meet in a city street. They worry about their reputations but make their... (full context)
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Bobadil and Matthew give Brainworm jewelry and silk stockings in exchange for a warrant. Matthew describes... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 11
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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.... (full context)
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Stephen protests his innocence; Bobadil points out that he is wearing the same cloak as Downright. Just then, Downright comes... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 2
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A servant announces Matthew and Bobadil’s arrival. Justice Clement briefly thinks that Bobadil, described merely as a “soldier” by the servant,... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 5
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Edward thanks Justice Clement for his “humanity.” Clement says that only Bobadil and Matthew “have so little of man in ‘em” as to not be any “part”... (full context)
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...have food and drink that evening to celebrate the marriage of Edward and Bridget—except for Bobadil and Matthew, who will have to “fast it out” for being “so false.” He tells... (full context)