Comus Quotes


"What Hath Night To Do With Sleep?"


The line belongs to Comus when he appears for the first time the poem with his band of wild animals. In comparison with all the other characters who appear in the poem and who wish to have a moral life, Comus puts his desires above all. Because of this, he associates night with Sin and not with sleep like the other characters do. This quote emphasized his belief system and his opinion that everything should be used for one’s desire.

List, Lady, be not coy, and be not cosened

With that same vaunted name virginity;

Beauty is nature's coin, must not be hoarded,

But must be current, and the good thereof

Consists in mutual and partaken bliss,

Unsavory in the enjoyment of itself.


According to Comus, beauty is something of value if it is not used properly. Virtue and everything that encourages a person to be chaste, stops a person from using the beauty’s full potential. According to him, hoarding beauty is a sin and something impractical because it doesn’t help anyone whatsoever. This could be avoided if beauty is used to acquire something of value in return. Because of this, he considers virginity as being not something of value, but rather a waste of beauty.

Tis chastity, my brother, chastity:

She that has that, is clad in compleat steel,

The older brother

When the Lady’s brothers talk about her disappearance, they are both concerned about her safety. The younger brother doesn’t fear that something will happen to her because God watches over her. The Older brother brings another argument, saying that their sister is protected by another force, which is her chastity. The power of her chastity is compared with the strength of the steel. The idea expressed through this quote is that chastity is the ultimate protection a young Lady can have. If a Lady is chaste, then she will be prosperous and she will need to fear nothing in life.

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