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The Comedy of Errors

The Comedy of Errors


by William Shakespeare

Antipholus of Syracuse Timeline and Summary

  • 1.2.9: S. Antipholus instructs S. Dromio to take money to the Centaur, their inn. He says until dinner, he’ll wander around the town and view how things go down there, looking at the traders and the buildings. Afterwards, he’ll come and get a good night’s sleep at the inn.
  • 1.2.19: S. Antipholus chats with the Ephesian merchant about S. Dromio. He calls his attendant "a trusty villain" and explains that S. Dromio often makes him light and laughing when he’s feeling particularly melancholy or just being, generally, a sad sack. S. Antipholus invites the merchant to walk around the town and dine with him.
  • 1.2.30: Rejected! S. Antipholus says he’ll walk around alone instead, and "lose" himself in the city.
  • 1.2.33: S. Antipholus unloads his sad heart to us: he says he cannot be content. Instead he’s like a drop of water that’s fallen into the ocean to look for a specific other drop of water. In his search, not only has he not found his family, but he feels he’s lost himself. He sees E. Dromio, and embraces him as S. Dromio, calling him his "almanac," as they were born in the same hour. He wonders how S. Dromio came back from the inn so quickly.
  • 1.2.53: S. Antipholus asks E. Dromio what happened to the money he gave him. As E. Dromio is not S. Dromio, the man is utterly confused. S. Antipholus thinks his servant must be kidding around. He begins to grow angry at E. Dromio, especially when E. Dromio bids him home to dine with his wife. S. Antipholus increasingly threatens E. Dromio, and keeps asking after the 1,000 marks he gave S. Dromio to bring to the Centaur.
  • 1.2.87: S. Antipholus gets really mad when E. Dromio keeps on talking about Antipholus’s wife and "mistress," so he resorts to beating E. Dromio.
  • 1.2.95: After E. Dromio runs away, S. Antipholus decides that S. Dromio must have been cheated of his money somehow, but doesn’t want to admit it. He then tells us that he’s heard Ephesus is full of sorcerers, witches, quack doctors, and goodness-knows-what else. He says if he finds this to be true, he’s outta there. S. Antipholus heads for the Centaur to see if his money is safe.
  • 2.2.1: Back at the marketplace, S. Antipholus confirms that his money has indeed arrived safely at the Centaur. He’s puzzled because it doesn’t seem possible that S. Dromio could have dropped off the money and seen him again in the city. Running into S. Dromio, he spews a barrage of questions, asking his servant why he denied getting the money and dropping it off at the Centaur. Further, he wants to know what S. Dromio meant by all his chatter about wives and the Phoenix (E. Antipholus’s house). S. Antipholus asks if S. Dromio was crazy earlier.
  • 2.2.17: S. Antipholus flies into a rage and now beats S. Dromio – a different Dromio. He’s upset because he thinks S. Dromio is messing with him.
  • 2.2.26: S. Antipholus chides that S. Dromio should know his place. He says that because the two are often friendly, and sometimes S. Antipholus jests with S. Dromio, S. Dromio has taken advantage of him. He doesn’t want S. Dromio to make fun of him when he’s in a serious mood.
  • 2.2.40: The men have a long back and forth about why S. Dromio’s been beaten, but S. Antipholus can’t foster any serious conversation about what didn’t happen with S. Dromio (because it actually happened with E. Dromio). The two begin to lighten the mood by punning with each other about dinner time. They then have a long and kind of cute exchange about hair and balding. The men are interrupted by Adriana, who mistakes S. Antipholus for her husband.
  • 2.2.147: S. Antipholus is stunned and confused by Adriana claiming to be his wife. He points out that he doesn’t know her and he’s only been in Ephesus for two hours. He’s paid attention to all of her talk, but has absolutely no idea what she’s fussing about.
  • 2.2.159: S. Dromio gets drawn into the mistake; Adriana told her husband’s servant, E. Dromio, to deliver the message about dinner, and E. Dromio did deliver it, but S. Dromio has no idea about any of this. S. Antipholus, as he received the message from E. Dromio, accuses S. Dromio of lying.
  • 2.2.166: S. Antipholus, though confused about the content of Adriana’s speech, wonders at how she can know both his and Dromio’s names.
  • 2.2.181: S. Antipholus wonders if he married Adriana while in a dream, or whether he might be dreaming now and simply imagining all this. Regardless, he decides to go along with this weird delusion.
  • 2.2.196: S. Antipholus empathizes with S. Dromio – he says they both seem transformed in mind (heading towards madness).
  • 2.2.212: S. Antipholus wonders whether he’s on earth, heaven, or hell. He can’t tell if he’s asleep or awake, sane or completely insane. He marvels that although these other people seem to know him, he feels he doesn’t know himself. Just then, he decides to go along with it, and head into all of these strange adventures he’s being offered.
  • 3.2.29: At the dinner Adriana had prepared for him, S. Antipholus declares his love for Luciana. He marvels that she seems to know his name, though he has no idea who she is. He figures she must be some divine creature. He begs her to teach him, as he is a mere mortal and has lots to learn about his own failings. He wonders if she is a goddess, and says she should feel free to transform him, and make him an entirely new person. Though he doesn’t know much about himself, he insists to Luciana that he’s not Adriana’s husband. He begs Luciana to stop pleading on her sister’s behalf and realize he’s only swayed by his love for her. He continues to insist on this line of reasoning for the rest of his conversation with Luciana, declaring her to be his heaven on earth.
  • 3.2.66: S. Antipholus declares unambiguously that he’ll have Luciana for his wife. He asks for her hand, point blank. She answers by running away.
  • 3.2.71: S. Antipholus encounters an out-of-breath S. Dromio, who’s clearly running away from something. S. Antipholus merrily jokes with S. Dromio about Nell (also called Luce) who claims S. Dromio as her betrothed. S. Dromio has described the woman to be as large as the whole globe, so S. Antipholus asks about her regions, jesting as S. Dromio compares the poor woman’s parts to different nations.
  • 3.2.147: S. Antipholus decides they really ought to be getting out of town as soon as possible. He sends S. Dromio to go find out if any ships are leaving tonight.
  • 3.2.156: S. Antipholus declares to himself that Ephesus seems to be inhabited by witches, which means it’s definitely time for him and Dromio to leave. He "abhors" Adriana, though she claims to be his wife. Still, he’s enchanted by Luciana, Adriana’s pretty sister; she makes him want to rebel against his instincts and stay. If he stayed, however, he’d be wronging himself, so he decides to ignore the "mermaid’s song" by Luciana.
  • 3.2.165: Angelo the goldsmith runs into S. Antipholus. Angelo greets Antipholus by name. Angelo foists the necklace for E. Antipholus on S. Antipholus, though S. Antipholus insists he didn’t ask for it.
  • 3.2.176: S. Antipholus pleads with Angelo to take payment for the necklace from him straightaway, otherwise he’ll never see the necklace, payment, or S. Antipholus again.
  • 3.2.179: S. Antipholus doesn’t know what to make of being given such an expensive gift for free from a stranger. He says no one would refuse such a beautiful gold chain. According to S. Antipholus, if life is like this in Ephesus, men can live by gifts instead of tricks. Still, he’ll head to the marketplace to see if Dromio has found a ship leaving this strange place.
  • 4.3.1: S. Antipholus is surprised that everyone in town greets him as their friend, knowing his name. All these strangers give him gifts, invite him places, and generally shower special attention on him. Even today, a tailor pulled him into his shop, showed him special silks meant just for him, and even took his measurements. S. Antipholus convinces himself these are only tricks of his imagination, and the place is surely infested with sorcerers.
  • 4.3.15: S. Antipholus wonders what gold this is that S. Dromio has brought to him. He doesn’t understand S. Dromio’s obtuse speech about E. Antipholus’s arrest, and finally tells S. Dromio to stop being foolish. S. Antipholus asks whether S. Dromio has found out whether any ships leave tonight.
  • 4.3.42: S. Dromio’s sure he’s already told S. Antipholus about the status of ships leaving the country. Though this seems strange, S. Antipholus decides not to investigate the matter any further. Instead, he chalks it up to the fact that both of them seem to be wandering around in an enchanted illusion.
  • 4.3.48: S. Antipholus greets the Courtesan with a hearty, "Satan, avoid!" – which is not a nice thing to say to anyone. S. Antipholus keeps up this jest calling the girl the devil to her face, and telling her to go away.
  • 4.4.147: With his sword drawn, S. Antipholus runs at Adriana, Luciana, the Courtesan, and an officer who are gathered in the marketplace. As this group of people runs away from him, frightened, S. Antipholus declares that it seems witches are afraid of swords.
  • 4.4.149: Again, S. Antipholus tells S. Dromio they need to leave town as soon as possible. He instructs S. Dromio to bring their things from the Centaur to any ship they can get on. Regardless of the charms the town may hold in the way of women and gifts, S. Antipholus insists he wouldn’t stay here any longer.
  • 5.1.23: S. Antipholus has an exchange with Angelo about the fact that he never denied having Angelo’s golden necklace (because it was E. Antipholus who did). The merchant standing next to Angelo speaks up and says that he himself heard Antipholus deny having the necklace. This comment cuts S. Antipholus to the quick.
  • 5.1.29: S. Antipholus quickly suggests that the Merchant is challenging his honor and his honesty, so S. Antipholus offers to prove his good character by dueling with the Merchant. He and the Merchant draw their swords, ready to come to blows. The duel is cut off by the entrance of Adriana and company, who want to bind S. Antipholus and S. Dromio. S. Antipholus and his servant flee into the safety of the priory.
  • 5.1.338: S. Antipholus recognizes his father, and asks if Egeon is his father, or a ghost.
  • 5.1.364: S. Antipholus begins to clear up the confusion by saying he comes from Syracuse.
  • 5.1.371: S. Antipholus also tells Adriana he dined with her earlier, calling her "gentle mistress" now that she isn’t trying to be his wife.
  • 5.1.373: S. Antipholus admits happily that he’s not Adriana’s husband. He tells Luciana that what he told her earlier still stands – he’d like to make good on all his earlier offers of romance.
  • 5.1.379: S. Antipholus recognizes that he wears the necklace Angelo made, and doesn’t deny that he got it from Angelo.
  • 5.1.385: S. Antipholus realizes that S. Dromio mistakenly delivered E. Antipholus’s bail money to him. He says they each met the wrong Dromio, and were taken for the wrong Antipholus, and therein lies the rub. Phew! Finally!
  • 5.1.412: S. Antipholus points out that S. Dromio means to talk to him of their luggage that used to be at Centaur, but S. Dromio is accidentally addressing E. Antipholus. He laughs at this and brushes it off, and says they’ll worry about their luggage later. In the meantime, he says S. Dromio should embrace his brother and rejoice.