The Comedy of Errors Synopsis

  • Condemned to death for setting foot in Ephesus, a merchant of Syracuse named Egeon tells the tale of a shipwreck in which his twin sons (and their twin servants) were separated, one of each with him, the others lost at sea with his wife.

 

  • Arriving in town and fearing the same law, Antipholus of Syracuse sends his servant Dromio to an inn with one thousand marks in gold.  When he meets Dromio of Ephesus just moments later, confusions and a beating ensue.
     
  • Impatient of her husband Antipholus of Ephesus’s return, Adrianna learns of his odd behavior from the beaten Dromio. 
  • Greeting them by name and seeming to know them well, the townsfolk dazzle the reunited Antipholus and Dromio of Syracuse. Adrianna and her sister entice the two men home for dinner.
     
  • Refused entrance to his own home by Dromio of Syracuse, Antipholus of Ephesus prepares to break down the door but accepts the advice of his friend Balthasar to dine elsewhere. 
     
  • Luciana pleads with Antipholus of Syracuse on behalf of her sister, and instead is wooed herself.  Antipholus and Dromio prepare to flee, and receive a chain from the goldsmith, Angelo.
     
  • Owing money to another merchant, Angelo prepares to pay him with proceeds of the chain.  Arguments and arrests ensue.  Dromio of Syracuse begs funds of Adrianna to release his master from jail, but finds Antipholus free on the street.
     
  • A courtesan of Ephesus demands the chain of Antipholus of Syracuse in exchange for a ring she gave Antipholus of Ephesus—whom she clearly knows.
     
  • Dromio of Ephesus brings a rope to his master, instead of funds to be released from jail.
     
  • Dr. Pinch attempts to exorcise Antipholus of Ephesus, who beats him.  Antipholus and Dromio of Ephesus are hauled away to jail, while their twins attempt to flee the city, taking sanctuary in an Abbey.
     
  • Arriving for the merchant Egeon’s execution, the Duke receives a petition from Adrianna’s on behalf of all the confused Ephesians.

 

  • Upon seeing Egeon, the Abbess reveals a long-held secret.