List iconThe Comedy of ErrorsList icon

The Comedy of Errors
Act 2, scene 2

Synopsis:

Contents

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…

Include links to:

Images
Glosses
Audio
Video
Essays
Quill icon
Scene 2
Enter Antipholus of Syracuse.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE 
 The gold I gave to Dromio is laid up
 Safe at the Centaur, and the heedful slave

39
The Comedy of Errors
ACT 2. SC. 2

 Is wandered forth in care to seek me out.
 By computation and mine host’s report,
5 I could not speak with Dromio since at first
 I sent him from the mart. See, here he comes.

Enter Dromio of Syracuse.

 How now, sir? Is your merry humor altered?
 As you love strokes, so jest with me again.
 You know no Centaur? You received no gold?
10 Your mistress sent to have me home to dinner?
 My house was at the Phoenix? Wast thou mad,
 That thus so madly thou didst answer me?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE 
 What answer, sir? When spake I such a word?
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE 
 Even now, even here, not half an hour since.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE 
15 I did not see you since you sent me hence,
 Home to the Centaur with the gold you gave me.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE 
 Villain, thou didst deny the gold’s receipt
 And told’st me of a mistress and a dinner,
 For which I hope thou felt’st I was displeased.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE 
20 I am glad to see you in this merry vein.
 What means this jest, I pray you, master, tell me?
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE 
 Yea, dost thou jeer and flout me in the teeth?
 Think’st thou I jest? Hold, take thou that and that.
Beats Dromio.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE 
 Hold, sir, for God’s sake! Now your jest is earnest.
25 Upon what bargain do you give it me?
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE 
 Because that I familiarly sometimes
 Do use you for my fool and chat with you,

41
The Comedy of Errors
ACT 2. SC. 2

 Your sauciness will jest upon my love
 And make a common of my serious hours.
30 When the sun shines, let foolish gnats make sport,
 But creep in crannies when he hides his beams.
 If you will jest with me, know my aspect,
 And fashion your demeanor to my looks,
 Or I will beat this method in your sconce.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE 35“Sconce” call you it? So you
 would leave battering, I had rather have it a
 “head.” An you use these blows long, I must get a
 sconce for my head and ensconce it too, or else I
 shall seek my wit in my shoulders. But I pray, sir,
40 why am I beaten?
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE Dost thou not know?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE Nothing, sir, but that I am
 beaten.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE Shall I tell you why?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE 45Ay, sir, and wherefore, for they
 say every why hath a wherefore.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE “Why” first: for flouting
 me; and then “wherefore”: for urging it the second
 time to me.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE 
50 Was there ever any man thus beaten out of season,
 When in the “why” and the “wherefore” is neither
 rhyme nor reason?
 Well, sir, I thank you.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE Thank me, sir, for what?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE 55Marry, sir, for this something
 that you gave me for nothing.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE I’ll make you amends next,
 to give you nothing for something. But say, sir, is it
 dinnertime?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE 60No, sir, I think the meat wants
 that I have.

43
The Comedy of Errors
ACT 2. SC. 2

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE In good time, sir, what’s
 that?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE Basting.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE 65Well, sir, then ’twill be dry.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE If it be, sir, I pray you eat none of
 it.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE Your reason?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE Lest it make you choleric and
70 purchase me another dry basting.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE Well, sir, learn to jest in
 good time. There’s a time for all things.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE I durst have denied that before
 you were so choleric.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE 75By what rule, sir?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE Marry, sir, by a rule as plain as
 the plain bald pate of Father Time himself.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE Let’s hear it.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE There’s no time for a man to
80 recover his hair that grows bald by nature.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE May he not do it by fine and
 recovery?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE Yes, to pay a fine for a periwig,
 and recover the lost hair of another man.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE 85Why is Time such a niggard
 of hair, being, as it is, so plentiful an excrement?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE Because it is a blessing that he
 bestows on beasts, and what he hath scanted men
 in hair, he hath given them in wit.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE 90Why, but there’s many a
 man hath more hair than wit.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE Not a man of those but he hath
 the wit to lose his hair.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE Why, thou didst conclude
95 hairy men plain dealers without wit.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE The plainer dealer, the sooner
 lost. Yet he loseth it in a kind of jollity.

45
The Comedy of Errors
ACT 2. SC. 2

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE For what reason?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE For two, and sound ones too.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE 100Nay, not sound, I pray you.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE Sure ones, then.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE Nay, not sure, in a thing
 falsing.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE Certain ones, then.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE 105Name them.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE The one, to save the money that
 he spends in tiring; the other, that at dinner they
 should not drop in his porridge.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE You would all this time
110 have proved there is no time for all things.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE Marry, and did, sir: namely, e’en
 no time to recover hair lost by nature.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE But your reason was not
 substantial why there is no time to recover.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE 115Thus I mend it: Time himself is
 bald and therefore, to the world’s end, will have
 bald followers.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE I knew ’twould be a bald
 conclusion. But soft, who wafts us yonder?

Enter Adriana, beckoning them, and Luciana.

ADRIANA 
120 Ay, ay, Antipholus, look strange and frown.
 Some other mistress hath thy sweet aspects.
 I am not Adriana, nor thy wife.
 The time was once when thou unurged wouldst vow
 That never words were music to thine ear,
125 That never object pleasing in thine eye,
 That never touch well welcome to thy hand,
 That never meat sweet-savored in thy taste,
 Unless I spake, or looked, or touched, or carved to
 thee.
130 How comes it now, my husband, O, how comes it

47
The Comedy of Errors
ACT 2. SC. 2

 That thou art then estrangèd from thyself?
 “Thyself” I call it, being strange to me,
 That, undividable, incorporate,
 Am better than thy dear self’s better part.
135 Ah, do not tear away thyself from me!
 For know, my love, as easy mayst thou fall
 A drop of water in the breaking gulf,
 And take unmingled thence that drop again
 Without addition or diminishing,
140 As take from me thyself and not me too.
 How dearly would it touch thee to the quick,
 Shouldst thou but hear I were licentious
 And that this body, consecrate to thee,
 By ruffian lust should be contaminate!
145 Wouldst thou not spit at me, and spurn at me,
 And hurl the name of husband in my face,
 And tear the stained skin off my harlot brow,
 And from my false hand cut the wedding ring,
 And break it with a deep-divorcing vow?
150 I know thou canst, and therefore see thou do it.
 I am possessed with an adulterate blot;
 My blood is mingled with the crime of lust;
 For if we two be one, and thou play false,
 I do digest the poison of thy flesh,
155 Being strumpeted by thy contagion.
 Keep then fair league and truce with thy true bed,
 I live distained, thou undishonorèd.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE 
 Plead you to me, fair dame? I know you not.
 In Ephesus I am but two hours old,
160 As strange unto your town as to your talk,
 Who, every word by all my wit being scanned,
 Wants wit in all one word to understand.
LUCIANA 
 Fie, brother, how the world is changed with you!

49
The Comedy of Errors
ACT 2. SC. 2

 When were you wont to use my sister thus?
165 She sent for you by Dromio home to dinner.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE By Dromio?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE By me?
ADRIANA 
 By thee; and this thou didst return from him:
 That he did buffet thee and, in his blows,
170 Denied my house for his, me for his wife.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE 
 Did you converse, sir, with this gentlewoman?
 What is the course and drift of your compact?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE 
 I, sir? I never saw her till this time.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE 
 Villain, thou liest, for even her very words
175 Didst thou deliver to me on the mart.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE 
 I never spake with her in all my life.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE 
 How can she thus then call us by our names—
 Unless it be by inspiration?
ADRIANA 
 How ill agrees it with your gravity
180 To counterfeit thus grossly with your slave,
 Abetting him to thwart me in my mood.
 Be it my wrong you are from me exempt,
 But wrong not that wrong with a more contempt.
 Come, I will fasten on this sleeve of thine.
She takes his arm.
185 Thou art an elm, my husband, I a vine,
 Whose weakness, married to thy stronger state,
 Makes me with thy strength to communicate.
 If aught possess thee from me, it is dross,
 Usurping ivy, brier, or idle moss,
190 Who, all for want of pruning, with intrusion
 Infect thy sap and live on thy confusion.

51
The Comedy of Errors
ACT 2. SC. 2

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE, aside 
 To me she speaks; she moves me for her theme.
 What, was I married to her in my dream?
 Or sleep I now and think I hear all this?
195 What error drives our eyes and ears amiss?
 Until I know this sure uncertainty
 I’ll entertain the offered fallacy.
LUCIANA 
 Dromio, go bid the servants spread for dinner.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE 
 O, for my beads! I cross me for a sinner.
He crosses himself.
200 This is the fairy land. O spite of spites!
 We talk with goblins, owls, and sprites.
 If we obey them not, this will ensue:
 They’ll suck our breath, or pinch us black and blue.
LUCIANA 
 Why prat’st thou to thyself and answer’st not?
205 Dromio—thou, Dromio—thou snail, thou slug,
 thou sot.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE 
 I am transformèd, master, am I not?
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE 
 I think thou art in mind, and so am I.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE 
 Nay, master, both in mind and in my shape.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE 
210 Thou hast thine own form.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE  No, I am an ape.
LUCIANA 
 If thou art changed to aught, ’tis to an ass.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE 
 ’Tis true. She rides me, and I long for grass.
 ’Tis so. I am an ass; else it could never be
215 But I should know her as well as she knows me.

53
The Comedy of Errors
ACT 2. SC. 2

ADRIANA 
 Come, come, no longer will I be a fool,
 To put the finger in the eye and weep
 Whilst man and master laughs my woes to scorn.
 Come, sir, to dinner.—Dromio, keep the gate.—
220 Husband, I’ll dine above with you today,
 And shrive you of a thousand idle pranks.
 To Dromio. Sirrah, if any ask you for your master,
 Say he dines forth, and let no creature enter.—
 Come, sister.—Dromio, play the porter well.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE, aside 
225 Am I in Earth, in heaven, or in hell?
 Sleeping or waking, mad or well-advised?
 Known unto these, and to myself disguised!
 I’ll say as they say, and persever so,
 And in this mist at all adventures go.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE 
230 Master, shall I be porter at the gate?
ADRIANA 
 Ay, and let none enter, lest I break your pate.
LUCIANA 
 Come, come, Antipholus, we dine too late.
They exit.