Study Guide

The Comedy of Errors Act II, Scene i

By William Shakespeare

Act II, Scene i

Read the full text of The Comedy of Errors Act 2 Scene 1 with a side-by-side translation HERE.


  • E. Antipholus’s wife Adriana, and her sister, Luciana, are at E. Antipholus’s house waiting for the man to come home for dinner.
  • They have a little philosophical exchange, during which Luciana insists that men are freer than women because their work and responsibilities take them out of the home. She thinks her sister should just wait patiently for his return and understand that she can't control him.
  • Adriana doesn’t take this comment so kindly. She says it’s this warped view of male-female relations that's keeping Luciana from getting married. 
  • Nope, Luciana says. It's because she's not interested in what happens in the marriage bed. (She's either not interested in sex, or not interested in being committed to one guy).
  • Besides, before she gets married, she has to learn to obey. 
  • Adriana again chastises her for preaching patience and servitude when she doesn't really know what it's like to be married.
  • Whatever, says Luciana. Here comes Dromio. That must mean Antipholus will be here shortly.
  • E. Dromio enters the scene, and explains what happened with S. Antipholus at the marketplace—still, of course, thinking S. Antipholus was actually his master, E. Antipholus. Then E. Dromio explains to Adriana that her husband has gone mad, and denies that he has a wife—her.
  • Now Adriana is even more miffed. She sends E. Dromio back to the marketplace to get E. Antipholus again. E. Dromio hesitantly goes again, but only after Adriana threatens to beat him.
  • Adriana now begins to worry that she must be old and ugly, so her husband prefers other company to hers. She blames E. Antipholus for wasting the beauty of her youth. Though Luciana tries to get her sister to pull it together, Adriana continues to complain.
  • Now Adriana’s convinced E. Antipholus is out having a snack in some other woman’s kitchen. She mentions that her husband was supposed to be bringing her a necklace, but she fears it’s not a jewelry store that’s detaining him.