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The Comedy of Errors | Shakespeare and comedy | Birmingham City Council

The Comedy of Errors

In some of his early comedies Shakespeare shows the full potential of foolery that derives from mistaken identity. As the name suggests, The Comedy of Errors is full of mistakes. The comic arises from a series of mistaken identities introduced by 2 sets of twins: Antipholus of Syracuse and Antipholus of Ephesus and their servants Dromio of Syracuse and Dromio of Ephesus. Both masters and servants not just mistake each other but confuse the rest of the characters in the play. In Act 2, scene 2 Adriana believes she is talking to her husband Antipholus of Ephesus when in fact she talks to his brother, making the conversation completely irrational:

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?
What error drives our eyes and ears amiss?