expend her yellow labours, undo herself

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Senior Member
this is from the Revenger's Tragedy by Thomas Middleton (a Jacobean revenge tragedy from the early 17th century):

For doting on her beauty, tho' her death
Shall be reveng'd after no common action.
Does the silkworm expend her yellow labours
For thee? For thee does she undo herself?

The character is holding a skull of his dead beloved in his hands, which he will later poison and use to kill the Duke (his enemy) in revenge.
I would like to know what the bold part means. I'll try my best:
Does the silkworm give/spend? her cocoon (which is pale yellow)
to you? Does she kill? herself for you?

Please help:)

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  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Yes, I think you are correct. to you? For you (i.e. on your behalf/for your benefit) Does she kill? herself die for you?
    Last edited:
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