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The Comedy of Errors Identity Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Act.Scene.Line). Line numbers correspond to the Riverside edition.

Quote #7

I am transformèd, master, am not I?
I think thou art in mind, and so am I. (2.2.207-208)

Adriana seems so sure of the identities of both S. Dromio and S. Antipholus that they have decided to go along with her. This strange woman seems to know them better than they know themselves, and a false identity seems to be better than no identity at all.

Quote #8

O villain, thou hast stolen both mine office and my
The one ne'er got me credit, the other mickle
   blame. (3.1.64-67)

It’s funny that E. Dromio accuses S. Dromio of stealing his identity, as actually they both share the same identity (as bondsmen to one of the two Antipholi). More importantly, they both suffer from the same ailments under the Antipholi – neither receives much credit, and both get much blame and beating. While the Antipholi are mistaken for each other (and are treated very differently as a result), the Dromios receive basically the same treatment whether they are seen as an S. or an E. Dromio.

Quote #9

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. (3.2.35-46)

S. Antipholus, for the first time, speaks joyously of his lack of identity, perhaps because he sees in Luciana some way to remedy it. He’s willing to give himself over and ask this woman to redefine him. Apparently, she may be able to accomplish this with her divine power, or more realistically, her love. Moreover, it’s interesting that S. Antipholus does assert that he knows himself enough to be sure that he’s not Adriana’s husband. There are different levels of self-knowledge, and while S. Antipholus has some cursory knowledge of himself, what he lacks is deep understanding, and he looks to Luciana to accord that to him.

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