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MonkeyNotes-The Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare
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Act III, Scene 1

Antipholus of Ephesus, his true servant Dromio, the goldsmith (Angelo), and the merchant (Balthazar) file onto stage and halt in front of the Phoenix. Antipholus requests that Angelo support his excuse for being late, explaining that "my wife is shrewish when I keep not hours." After a little joking with Balthasar about how a warm welcome is a poor substitute for a "dainty dish," Antipholus realizes his door is locked. He tells Dromio to "go bid them let us in." When Dromio does his bidding, he is surprised, for there is someone within who claims to be Dromio. The servant exclaims that the man "hast stol'n both mine office and my name."

Both master and servant feel cheated of their name and position, for Antipholus of Ephesus believes his wife to be entertaining another man, which in effect she is, though she is unaware of it. Antipholus of Ephesus is angered at being turned away in this manner. He is determined to break down his own door, but Balthazar persuades him that to do so will create a scandal. As a result, Antipholus of Ephesus decides to retaliate by dining with a courtesan. Antipholus then instructs Angelo to meet him at the Porcupine with the gold chain, for he plans to give it to the "wench" to spite his wife.


Notes

In this scene, Antipholus of Ephesus is introduced on stage for the first time. As a result, many critics consider Antipholus of Syracuse the focal character in the play. But this second, Antipholus immediately gains the attention of the audience as he convinces Angelo to corroborate his story of explanation about being late and as he contemplates breaking down his own door. As a result of his behavior, Antipholus of Ephesus does not immediately win sympathy as does his twin, for he is seen to be a man who provides his wife with reason for her jealousy and brings the goldsmith in on a story he concocts. Being impatient and prone to anger, much like his wife, he wants to break down the door when it is not opened for him. He also seeks revenge in a manner that borders on immaturity. To get even with Adriana, he decides to dine with a concubine and give her a gold chain produced by Angelo.

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MonkeyNotes-The Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare

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