Every Man in His Humour

by

Ben Jonson

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Roger Formal Character Analysis

Roger Formal is Justice Clement’s clerk and assistant, tasked with fulfilling his boss’s administrative requirements. Late in the play, he is intrigued by Brainworm’s alter-ego, Fitzsword, and goes out to drink wine with him and hear about his backstory as an ex-soldier. Brainworm gets Formal drunk and steals his clothes, enabling him to serve Downright with a (false) arrest warrant on behalf of Captain Bobadil and Master Matthew—who give him jewels and clothing in exchange.
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Roger Formal Character Timeline in Every Man in His Humour

The timeline below shows where the character Roger Formal appears in Every Man in His Humour. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 3, Scene 7
Authenticity Theme Icon
Justice Clement asks his assistant, Roger Formal, whether Kitely has gone. He wonders what made him leave so abruptly. Cob approaches Justice... (full context)
Human Folly Theme Icon
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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. Old Knowell, also present, implores Justice Clement to go easy... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 6
Authenticity Theme Icon
Parenthood Theme Icon
Roger Formal and Old Knowell meet in a street of the Old Jewry. Brainworm arrives too, still... (full context)
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Roger Formal, intrigued by Brainworm’s (false) backstory, insists on buying him some wine and hearing about his... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 8
Human Folly Theme Icon
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Brainworm comes in, now dressed as Roger Formal. He tells Kitely that his master, Justice Clement, desires to speak with him as soon... (full context)
Human Folly Theme Icon
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Brainworm explains to Wellbred how he managed to procure Roger Formal’s clothes: he got the other man drunk and stole them, leaving Formal in a drunken... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 9
Human Folly Theme Icon
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...worry about their reputations but make their excuses. When Brainworm comes by, dressed as Roger Formal, they complain to him about Downright and ask for an arrest warrant. Brainworm says he... (full context)
Human Folly Theme Icon
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...the warrant to Downright. Bobadil and Matthew exit, Brainworm announces his intentions to pawn Roger Formal’s cloak. (full context)
Act 5, Scene 1
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...is trying to get to the bottom of the “false” messages allegedly given by Roger Formal. (full context)
Act 5, Scene 3
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...Brainworm, in disguise as the “varlet,” says he doesn’t have it—but that it was Roger Formal who told him to make the arrests. Clement asks why Downright accepted the arrest without... (full context)
Human Folly Theme Icon
Authenticity Theme Icon
Parenthood Theme Icon
...go and fetch the young couple, praising the “good news.” He asks Brainworm for Roger Formal’s whereabouts; Brainworm explains what happened. Clement says that Brainworm has done nothing terribly wrong and... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 4
Human Folly Theme Icon
Parenthood Theme Icon
Roger Formal, drunk, arrives at Justice Clement’s house, followed shortly after by Edward, Wellbred, and Bridget. Clement... (full context)