Every Why Hath a Wherefore
And why shouldn't it? We've all been there, haven't we? A young child asks why to every answer.
Mommy, why is the sky blue?
Well, because blue light is scattered more in all directions than other colors, and it travels in shorter waves.
Waves? I don't see any waves. Why do you see them?
Oh, I don't see them. No one does.
Then how do you know they're there?
Because there are instruments that measure them. And the sky's blue.
That's like saying the sky is blue because the sky is blue.
I know. I'm ignorant.
Because I don't know everything.
Because. Now go outside and play.
Dromio of Syracuse (Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors) could identify with the young child. His master, Antipholus of Syracuse, has just beaten him, and he wants to know why. He doesn't, much like the child, get a satisfactory answer and tells his master that every why hath a wherefore. His master gives him the why--"for flouting me"---and the wherefore---"for urging it the second time." Yes, well, if you know the play, Dromio has a case, methinks.
You can make sense of all of this by purchasing a ticket to watch, via streaming, DoorShakespeare's production of The Comedy of Errors. Two sets of identical twins, mistaken identities, and a lot of folderol hold the stage. Great fun! More details here.