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Luciana

Keeping Adultery Hidden

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In comedy or tragedy, Shakespeare’s characters advise the prudence of spouses keeping their dalliances hidden. In Comedy of Errors, Luciana advises Antipholus of Syracuse, who she thinks is her brother-in-lawto conceal from his presumed wife Adriana, Luciana’s sister, his apparent infidelity. Iago’s observation about the adulteries of Venetian women in Othello, is similar.
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Neither my husband nor the slave returned

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Adriana
Neither my husband nor the slave returned
That in such haste I sent to seek his master?
Sure, Luciana, it is two o’clock.
Luciana
Perhaps some merchant hath invited him,
And from the mart he’s somewhere gone to dinner.
Good sister, let us dine, and never fret.

So thou, that hast no unkind mate to grieve thee,
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Source:
Act 2
Scene 1
Line 1

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Fie, how impatience loureth in your face

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Luciana
Fie, how impatience loureth in your face.
Adriana
His company must do his minions grace,
Whilst I at home starve for a merry look.

Since that my beauty cannot please his eye,
I’ll weep what’s left away, and weeping die.

Hath homely age th’ alluring beauty took
From my poor cheek?
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Source:
Act 2
Scene 1
Line 110

Source Type:

Spoken by:
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How ill agrees it with your gravity

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Adriana
How ill agrees it with your gravity
To counterfeit thus grossly with your slave,
Abetting him to thwart me in my mood.
Be it my wrong you are from me exempt,
But wrong not that wrong with a more contempt.

This is the fairy land. O spite of spites!
We talk with goblins, owls,
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Source:
Act 2
Scene 2
Line 179

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And may it be that you have quite forgot

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Luciana
And may it be that you have quite forgot
 A husband’s office? Shall, Antipholus,
Even in the spring of love thy love-springs rot?
 Shall love, in building, grow so ruinous?

Bear a fair presence, though your heart be tainted.
 Teach sin the carriage of a holy saint.
Be secret-false. What need she be acquainted?
 What simple thief brags of his own attaint?

If you did wed my sister for her wealth,
 Then for her wealth’s sake use her with more kindness.
Or if you like elsewhere, do it by stealth,
 Muffle your false love with some show of blindness:
Let not my sister read it in your eyeHyperbaton;
 Be not thy tongue thy own shame's oratorHyperbaton and Synecdoche:
Look sweet, speak fair, become disloyaltyIsocolon;
 Apparel vice like virtue's harbinger;
Bear a fair presence, though your heart be tainted;
 Teach sin the carriage of a holy saintIsocolon
;
Be secret-false: what need she be acquainted?
 What simple thief brags of his own attaint?
‘Tis double wrong, to truant with your bed,
 And let her read it in thy looks at board:
Shame hath a bastard fame, well managed;
 Ill deeds is doubled with an evil word.
Alas, poor women, make us but believe
 (Being compact of credit) that you love us;
Though others have the armSynecdoche, show us the sleeveMetonymy:
We in your motion turnHyperbaton, and you may move us.
 Then, gentle brother, get you in again;
Comfort my sister, cheer her, call her wife:
 ‘Tis holy sport to be a little vain,
When the sweet breath of flattery conquers strife.
Antipholus of Syracuse
Sweet mistress—what your name is else I know not,
 Nor by what wonder you do hit of mine—
Less in your knowledge and your grace you show not
 Than our Earth’s wonder, more than Earth divine.
Teach me, dear creature, how to think and speak.
 Lay open to my earthy gross conceit,
Smothered in errors, feeble, shallow, weak,
 The folded meaning of your words’ deceit.
Against my soul’s pure truth why labor you
 To make it wander in an unknown field?
Are you a god? Would you create me new?
 Transform me, then, and to your power I’ll yield.
But if that I am I, then well I know
 Your weeping sister is no wife of mine,
Nor to her bed no homage do I owe.
 Far more, far more, to you do I decline.
O, train me not, sweet mermaid, with thy note
 To drown me in thy sister’s flood of tears.
Sing, Siren, for thyself, and I will dote.
 Spread o’er the silver waves thy golden hairs,
And as a bed I’ll take them and there lie,
 And in that glorious supposition think
He gains by death that hath such means to die.
 Let love, being light, be drownèd if she sink.
Luciana
What, are you mad that you do reason so?
Antipholus of Syracuse
Not mad, but mated—how, I do not know.
Luciana
It is a fault that springeth from your eye.
Antipholus of Syracuse
For gazing on your beams, fair sun, being by.
Luciana
Gaze when you should, and that will clear your sight.
Antipholus of Syracuse
As good to wink, sweet love, as look on night.
Luciana
Why call you me “love”? Call my sister so.
Antipholus of Syracuse
Thy sister’s sister.
Luciana
That’s my sister.
Antipholus of Syracuse
No,
It is thyself, mine own self's better part:
Mine eye's clear eye, my dear heart's dearer heart,Anaphora and Antanaclasis

My food, my fortune, and my sweet hope's aim,
My sole earth's heaven, and my heaven's claim.Anaphora and Anadiplosis

Luciana
All this my sister is, or else should be.
Antipholus of Syracuse
Call thyself “sister,” sweet, for I am thee.
Thee will I love, and with thee lead my life;
Thou hast no husband yet, nor I no wife.
Give me thy hand.
Luciana
O soft, sir. Hold you still.
I’ll fetch my sister to get her goodwill.
 She exits.

Ah, Luciana, did he tempt thee so?

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Adriana
Ah, Luciana, did he tempt thee so?
 Might’st thou perceive austerely in his eye
That he did plead in earnest, yea or no?
 Looked he or red or pale, or sad or merrily?
What observation mad’st thou in this case
Of his heart’s meteors tilting in his face?
Luciana
First he denied you had in him no right.
Adriana
He meant he did me none; the more my spite.
Luciana
Then swore he that he was a stranger here.
Adriana
And true he swore, though yet forsworn he were.
Luciana
Then pleaded I for you.
Adriana
And what said he?
Luciana
That love I begged for you he begged of me.
Adriana
With what persuasion did he tempt thy love?
Luciana
With words that in an honest suit might move.
First he did praise my beauty, then my speech.
Adriana
Did’st speak him fair?
Luciana
Have patience, I beseech.
Adriana
I cannot, nor I will not hold me still.
My tongue, though not my heart, shall have his will.
He is deformèd, crooked, old, and sere,
Ill-faced, worse-bodied, shapeless everywhere,
Vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind,
Stigmatical in making, worse in mind.
Luciana
Who would be jealous, then, of such a one?
No evil lost is wailed when it is gone.
Adriana
Ah, but I think him better than I say,
 And yet would herein others’ eyes were worse.
Far from her nest the lapwing cries away.
 My heart prays for him, though my tongue do curse.

Source:
Act 4
Scene 2
Line 1

Source Type:
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Spoken by:
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Then pleaded I for you

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Luciana
Then pleaded I for you.
Adriana
And what said he?
Luciana
That love I begged for you he begged of me.
Adriana
With what persuasion did he tempt thy love?

I cannot, nor I will not hold me still.
My tongue, though not my heart, shall have his will.
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Source:
Act 4
Scene 2
Line 11

Source Type:

Spoken by:
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