A Comedy of Errors - April 29 - May 01, 2021

Bergen County Academies

 The Comedy of Errors 

The Comedy of Errors Plot Summary

After both being separated from their twin siblings in a shipwreck, Antipholus and his slave Dromio of Syracuse go to Ephesus to find them. The other set of twins lives in Ephesus, and the new arrivals cause a series of incidents of mistaken identity. At the end, the twins find each other and their parents and resolve all of the problems caused earlier.


Act I

Duchess Solinus, ruler of Ephesus, presides over the trial of Egeon of Syracuse. Syracusians are not allowed in Ephesus, so Egeon has been detained and told he will be put to death according to the statute of the land. When asked why he is now in Ephesus, Egeon explains how he is searching for his wife, lost twin sons and their twin servants.

Twenty three years before, Egeon had lost his wife and one of their identical twin sons, Antipholus (along with the boy's slave, Dromio) in a storm at sea. Egeon had brought up the surviving boy and his slave - also named Antipholus and Dromio. At eighteen, they had gone in search of their lost brothers. After no word from them, Egeon left home to seek news in Ephesus. Duchess Solinus is softened by the story and allows Egeon until sunset to try to raise 1,000 marks as a ransom or else he must die. Meanwhile, in a nearby marketplace, a merchant has befriended the newly arrived Antipholus of Syracuse (Egeon's son) and his servant, Dromio. Unknown to them, their twin brothers (with identical names) have been living there for years after being saved from the storm by fishermen.


Act II

Antipholus of Syracuse is very surprised to be accosted by Dromio of Ephesus. Dromio is angry that his master has not returned home to his wife, Adriana, for dinner. The likeness of the Dromio twins, and also the sons of Egeon, leads to a series of confusions. This is especially true when Antipholus of Syracuse dines with his sister-in-law (she thinks she is his wife) and falls in love with her sister, Luciana. His servant, Dromio of Syracuse, refuses to open the door to anyone. He bars the door even when the real Antipholus (of Ephesus) returns home with his merchant friends. This exclusion enrages Antipholus of Ephesus and leads him to dine with his friend, the courtesan. Adriana thinks her husband is cheating on her because he seems to be ignoring her when really, he is the wrong guy and just has no idea who this woman is!


Act III-IV: A gold chain that Antipholus of Ephesus has ordered for his wife is delivered to Antipholus of Syracuse instead. The goldsmith’s claim for payment leads to the arrest of Antipholus of Ephesus (the wrong guy) and his servant. They refuse to pay for a chain that they did not receive. Adriana, fearing for her husband's sanity, gets Dr Pinch to exorcise him and Dromio (both of Ephesus). While they are under restraint, their Syracusian brothers cause panic in the town. The people think that the Ephesian brothers have somehow escaped. The Syracusian brothers, also frightened, take refuge in an abbey. Chaos abounds.


Act V: The sunset hour of Egeon's sentence is soon approaching. The Duchess returns, but is stopped by Adriana, who appeals for aid for her husband. The Ephesian twins escape their bonds and arrive to claim justice. Egeon recognises them, or so he thinks, as the boys he brought up in Syracuse. Duchess Solinus, sends for the Abbess, who appears with the second pair of twins. She further amazes everyone by recognizing Egeon and revealing herself as Emilia, his long-lost

wife. She had entered a religious order after surviving the storm and fearing that all her family had died.

When all have told their stories, Antipholus of Syracuse renews his attempts to woo his sister-in-law, Luciana. The Duke pardons Egeon, and everyone goes to celebrate with Emilia at the temple. The two Dromios joyfully bond, hand in hand.

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