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The Comedy of Errors
Act 2, scene 1

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Characters in the Play

Entire Play

Egeon’s remaining son, Antipholus of Syracuse, and his servant, Dromio of Syracuse, come to Ephesus, where—unknown to them—their lost twins…

Act 1, scene 1

Egeon, a merchant from Syracusae, is arrested for having illegally entered Ephesus. He tells the story of how he lost…

Act 1, scene 2

Antipholus of Syracuse lands in Ephesus with his servant, Dromio. He sends Dromio to an inn with their luggage and…

Act 2, scene 1

Adriana angrily awaits her husband, who is late for dinner. Dromio (of Ephesus) enters and tells about his meeting with…

Act 2, scene 2

Antipholus (of Syracuse) meets Dromio (of Syracuse), who denies having spoken of Antipholus’s wife. Adriana and her sister, Luciana, enter…

Act 3, scene 1

Antipholus of Ephesus brings a goldsmith and a merchant to his home for dinner. He finds the door locked and,…

Act 3, scene 2

Antipholus (of Syracuse) falls in love with Adriana’s sister, Luciana. Dromio (of Syracuse) is claimed by Adriana’s kitchen maid as…

Act 4, scene 1

Antipholus (of Ephesus) sends Dromio (of Ephesus) to buy a rope’s end to beat Adriana. The goldsmith demands the money…

Act 4, scene 2

Dromio (of Syracuse) tells Adriana about the arrest of Antipholus (of Ephesus). She gives him the money for Antipholus’s bail.

Act 4, scene 3

Dromio (of Syracuse) gives Antipholus (of Syracuse) the money sent by Adriana. The Courtesan enters and demands the chain that…

Act 4, scene 4

Antipholus (of Ephesus), under arrest, beats Dromio (of Ephesus) for bringing a rope’s end instead of the money for bail….

Act 5, scene 1

Adriana finds Antipholus (of Syracuse) with his sword drawn and orders that he and Dromio be bound. The Syracusans escape…

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Scene 1
Enter Adriana, wife to Antipholus of Ephesus, with
Luciana, her sister.


ADRIANA 
 Neither my husband nor the slave returned
 That in such haste I sent to seek his master?
 Sure, Luciana, it is two o’clock.
LUCIANA 
 Perhaps some merchant hath invited him,
5 And from the mart he’s somewhere gone to dinner.
 Good sister, let us dine, and never fret.
 A man is master of his liberty;
 Time is their master, and when they see time
 They’ll go or come. If so, be patient, sister.
ADRIANA 
10 Why should their liberty than ours be more?
LUCIANA 
 Because their business still lies out o’ door.
ADRIANA 
 Look when I serve him so, he takes it ill.
LUCIANA 
 O, know he is the bridle of your will.
ADRIANA 
 There’s none but asses will be bridled so.
LUCIANA 
15 Why, headstrong liberty is lashed with woe.
29

31
The Comedy of Errors
ACT 2. SC. 1

 There’s nothing situate under heaven’s eye
 But hath his bound in earth, in sea, in sky.
 The beasts, the fishes, and the wingèd fowls
 Are their males’ subjects and at their controls.
20 Man, more divine, the master of all these,
 Lord of the wide world and wild wat’ry seas,
 Endued with intellectual sense and souls,
 Of more preeminence than fish and fowls,
 Are masters to their females, and their lords.
25 Then let your will attend on their accords.
ADRIANA 
 This servitude makes you to keep unwed.
LUCIANA 
 Not this, but troubles of the marriage bed.
ADRIANA 
 But, were you wedded, you would bear some sway.
LUCIANA 
 Ere I learn love, I’ll practice to obey.
ADRIANA 
30 How if your husband start some otherwhere?
LUCIANA 
 Till he come home again, I would forbear.
ADRIANA 
 Patience unmoved! No marvel though she pause;
 They can be meek that have no other cause.
 A wretched soul bruised with adversity
35 We bid be quiet when we hear it cry,
 But were we burdened with like weight of pain,
 As much or more we should ourselves complain.
 So thou, that hast no unkind mate to grieve thee,
 With urging helpless patience would relieve me;
40 But if thou live to see like right bereft,
 This fool-begged patience in thee will be left.
LUCIANA 
 Well, I will marry one day, but to try.
 Here comes your man. Now is your husband nigh.

33
The Comedy of Errors
ACT 2. SC. 1

Enter Dromio of Ephesus.

ADRIANA 
 Say, is your tardy master now at hand?
DROMIO OF EPHESUS 45Nay, he’s at two hands with me,
 and that my two ears can witness.
ADRIANA 
 Say, didst thou speak with him? Know’st thou his
 mind?
DROMIO OF EPHESUS 
 Ay, ay, he told his mind upon mine ear.
50 Beshrew his hand, I scarce could understand it.
LUCIANA Spake he so doubtfully thou couldst not feel
 his meaning?
DROMIO OF EPHESUS Nay, he struck so plainly I could
 too well feel his blows, and withal so doubtfully
55 that I could scarce understand them.
ADRIANA 
 But say, I prithee, is he coming home?
 It seems he hath great care to please his wife.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS 
 Why, mistress, sure my master is horn mad.
ADRIANA 
 Horn mad, thou villain?
DROMIO OF EPHESUS 60 I mean not cuckold mad,
 But sure he is stark mad.
 When I desired him to come home to dinner,
 He asked me for a thousand marks in gold.
 “’Tis dinnertime,” quoth I. “My gold,” quoth he.
65 “Your meat doth burn,” quoth I. “My gold,” quoth
 he.
 “Will you come?” quoth I. “My gold,” quoth he.
 “Where is the thousand marks I gave thee, villain?”
 “The pig,” quoth I, “is burned.” “My gold,” quoth
70 he.

35
The Comedy of Errors
ACT 2. SC. 1

 “My mistress, sir,” quoth I. “Hang up thy mistress!
 I know not thy mistress. Out on thy mistress!”
LUCIANA Quoth who?
DROMIO OF EPHESUS Quoth my master.
75 “I know,” quoth he, “no house, no wife, no
 mistress.”
 So that my errand, due unto my tongue,
 I thank him, I bare home upon my shoulders,
 For, in conclusion, he did beat me there.
ADRIANA 
80 Go back again, thou slave, and fetch him home.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS 
 Go back again and be new beaten home?
 For God’s sake, send some other messenger.
ADRIANA 
 Back, slave, or I will break thy pate across.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS 
 And he will bless that cross with other beating.
85 Between you, I shall have a holy head.
ADRIANA 
 Hence, prating peasant. Fetch thy master home.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS 
 Am I so round with you as you with me,
 That like a football you do spurn me thus?
 You spurn me hence, and he will spurn me hither.
90 If I last in this service, you must case me in leather.
He exits.
LUCIANA 
 Fie, how impatience loureth in your face.
ADRIANA 
 His company must do his minions grace,
 Whilst I at home starve for a merry look.
 Hath homely age th’ alluring beauty took
95 From my poor cheek? Then he hath wasted it.
 Are my discourses dull? Barren my wit?
 If voluble and sharp discourse be marred,

37
The Comedy of Errors
ACT 2. SC. 2

 Unkindness blunts it more than marble hard.
 Do their gay vestments his affections bait?
100 That’s not my fault; he’s master of my state.
 What ruins are in me that can be found
 By him not ruined? Then is he the ground
 Of my defeatures. My decayèd fair
 A sunny look of his would soon repair.
105 But, too unruly deer, he breaks the pale
 And feeds from home. Poor I am but his stale.
LUCIANA 
 Self-harming jealousy, fie, beat it hence.
ADRIANA 
 Unfeeling fools can with such wrongs dispense.
 I know his eye doth homage otherwhere,
110 Or else what lets it but he would be here?
 Sister, you know he promised me a chain.
 Would that alone o’ love he would detain,
 So he would keep fair quarter with his bed.
 I see the jewel best enamelèd
115 Will lose his beauty. Yet the gold bides still
 That others touch, and often touching will
 Wear gold; yet no man that hath a name
 By falsehood and corruption doth it shame.
 Since that my beauty cannot please his eye,
120 I’ll weep what’s left away, and weeping die.
LUCIANA 
 How many fond fools serve mad jealousy!
They exit.