The Comedy of Errors Summary

The Comedy of Errors Summary, it is one of William Shakespeare's early plays. It is his shortest and one of his most farcical comedies, with a major part of the humour coming from slapstick and mistaken identity, in addition to puns and word play. It has been adapted for opera, stage, screen and musical theatre numerous times worldwide. 

In the centuries following its premiere, the play's title has entered the popular English lexicon as an idiom for "an event or series of events made ridiculous by the number of errors that were made throughout".

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The Comedy of Errors Summary

The Comedy of Errors Summary

Egeon, a merchant of Syracuse, is condemned to death in Ephesus for violating the ban against travel between the two rival cities. As he is led to his execution, he tells the Ephesian Duke, Solinus, that he has come to Syracuse in search of his wife and one of his twin sons, who were separated from him 25 years ago in a shipwreck. The other twin, who grew up with Egeon, is also traveling the world in search of the missing half of their family. (The twins, we learn, are identical, and each has an identical twin slave named Dromio.) The Duke is so moved by this story that he grants Egeon a day to raise the thousand-mark ransom that would be necessary to save his life.

Meanwhile, unknown to Egeon, his son Antipholus of Syracuse (and Antipholus' slave Dromio) is also visiting Ephesus--where Antipholus' missing twin, known as Antipholus of Ephesus, is a prosperous citizen of the city. Adriana, Antipholus of Ephesus' wife, mistakes Antipholus of Syracuse for her husband and drags him home for dinner, leaving Dromio of Syracuse to stand guard at the door and admit no one. Shortly thereafter, Antipholus of Ephesus (with his slave Dromio of Ephesus) returns home and is refused entry to his own house. Meanwhile, Antipholus of Syracuse has fallen in love with Luciana, Adriana's sister, who is appalled at the behavior of the man she thinks is her brother-in-law.

The confusion increases when a gold chain ordered by the Ephesian Antipholus is given to Antipholus of Syracuse. Antipholus of Ephesus refuses to pay for the chain (unsurprisingly, since he never received it) and is arrested for debt. His wife, seeing his strange behavior, decides he has gone mad and orders him bound and held in a cellar room. Meanwhile, Antipholus of Syracuse and his slave decide to flee the city, which they believe to be enchanted, as soon as possible--only to be menaced by Adriana and the debt officer. They seek refuge in a nearby abbey.

Adriana now begs the Duke to intervene and remove her "husband" from the abbey into her custody. Her real husband, meanwhile, has broken loose and now comes to the Duke and levels charges against his wife. The situation is finally resolved by the Abbess, Emilia, who brings out the set of twins and reveals herself to be Egeon's long-lost wife. Antipholus of Ephesus reconciles with Adriana; Egeon is pardoned by the Duke and reunited with his spouse; Antipholus of Syracuse resumes his romantic pursuit of Luciana, and all ends happily with the two Dromios embracing.

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Questions about The Comedy of Errors Plot

What is the message of The Comedy of Errors? IDENTITY. The Comedy of Errors is a play inextricably linked with the notion of identity and mistaken identities. Of course, it is a story about two sets of identical twins existing in one place at one time. Yet the theme of identity is not only explored comically in the play.

What is the point of The Comedy of Errors? The whole premise of the text relies on mistaken identities. Both the Antipholus and Dromio twins are consistently mistaken for the other twin throughout the whole play. This is the main cause of confusion in Ephesus. Comedy of Error also explores the theme of appearance vs reality.

What do we learn from comedy of errors? This play is a great play for exploring with younger students as well as learners of all ages, allowing you to look at the comedy of mistaken identity and use of farce as well as lots of themes you can use as routes into the text including: Identity. Power. Belonging.

What happened at the end of comedy of errors? At the end of this crazy comedy, the Antipholus and Dromio brothers are reunited with each other and with their mother and father, Emilia and Egeon. The last time we see them, they exit the stage to feast and celebrate.

Is a comedy of errors a tragedy? The Comedy of Errors ends happily, but the last scene comes very close to being a tragedy. Discuss what would have happened if Egeon had not seen his son right before his execution. If the errors of the day were never explained, would Antipholus of Ephesus have ever forgiven Adriana for locking him out?

What is the dramatic irony in The Comedy of Errors? Dramatic irony pervades the soliloquy, as the audience understands that the Ephesians greet him with such friendliness because they have misidentified him as his twin brother.

Who is the antagonist in The Comedy of Errors? Antipholus of Ephesus is one of main characters in the William Shakespeare comedy play The Comedy of Errors. He is a wealthy and violent merchant in the city of Ephesus, where he frequently cheats on his wife Adriana for other women.

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