Synopsis

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Scene by Scene Synopsis

Scene: Ephesus, Greece

Act I, Scene 1:  The Duke of Ephesus informs Egeon, a merchant of Syracuse, that he is subject to the death penalty prescribed for any citizen of Syracuse found in Ephesus, unless he can pay an immense ransom.   Egeon tells of the long search that has brought him to the city.  23 years earlier, his wife and one of their infant twin sons had been separated from in a shipwreck.  The other son ha set forth, at the age of 18, in search of his lost brother.  He took with him his servant, who had also been separated from a twin brother in the same shipwreck.  Egeon himself had then begun to roam the world for news for either son.  The Duke is sympathetic to this tragic tale' he gives the prisoner the rest of the day to be or borrow ransom money.

Act I, Scene 2:  A local merchant advises Antipholuso f Syracuse newly arrived in town, not to reveal his origins, telling of the fate of Egeon.  Antipholus instructs his servant, Dromio of Syracuse, to return to their inn and guard their money.  In a soliloquy, Antipholus tells of his seach for his lost brother, and the audience realizes the is one of the sons.  Dromio of Ephesus enters and mistakes Antipholus for his own master, Antipholus of Ephesus.  Antipholus of Syracuse mistakes this Dromio for his own servant.  The presence in the city of the two sets of twins is now known to the audience.  Dromio of Ephesus relays his mistress' demand that his matster return home.  A confused Antipholus of Syracuse asks about the safetyof the money and Dromio denies any knowledge of money.  Antipholus beats him, and the mystified servant runs away.  Antipholus remarks to himself on the reputatio of Ephesus as i center for witchcraft and thievery, and he hurries back to his inn, fearing theft.

Act II Scene 1:  Adriana, the wife of Antipholus of Ephesus, complains that her husband is lae for lunch, thus triggering a disputation on marriage with her sister, Luciana; Luciana holds for wifely obedience in all things, while Adriana asserts her independence.  Dromio of Ephesus returns to tell of the beating he has received.  Adriana sends him out again to fetch Antipholus home.  Adriana assets that her husband prefers the company of other women to her own, thogh, Luciana rebukes her for unjustified jealousy.

Act II, Scene 2:  Antipholus of Syracuse encounters his own servant, whom he berates for the behavior of the other Dromio and then beats him when he declares his innocence.  Adriana and LUcian appear, and Adriana, thinking, Antipholus of Syracuse to be her husband chastizes him for infidelity.  When he reponds with natural confusion, he is rebuked by Luciana.  Dromio of Syracuse also claims ignorance, and the two are jointly condemned by the women.  The visitors are mystified and fear that supernatural doings are afoot.  However, Anripholus decides to follow the drift of things in the hope of discovering the truth, and he permits himself to be taken to Adriana's home, where Dromio is assigned the gate guarding duites of his namesake.

Act III, Scene 1:  Antipholus of Ephesus enters with his servant Dromio and two friends, Angelo, a goldsmith and Balthazar, a merchant.  Antipholus invites his friends to come to his house, but they are turned away at the gate by Dromio of Syracuse, who is obeying his orders to keep out all comers.  Another servant, Luce, and finally Adriana herself, persist in keeping an irate and confused Antipholus out, believing him to be an imposter.  The outraged husband announces that he will pay a visit to a Courtesan he knowns and that , moreover, he will give that woman a gold necklace he had commissioned from Angelo as a gift for his wife.

Act III, Scene 2:  Luciana is appalled that Antipholus of Syracuse, whom she believes to be her borther-in-law, has declared his lvoer for her.  She concludes that he is made and flees, announcing her intention to tell Adriana about this turn of events.  Dromio of Syracuse enters and tells of the extravagantly ugly kitchen-maid, Nell, who has claimed him as a husband.  Antipholus sends him to prepare to depart; as he observes in a soliloquy, they must flee the witchery of the city, especially since he has fallen in love with one the supernatural women.  Angelo appears with the gold necklace commissioned by the other Antipholus and turns it over to this one, despite the latter's bewildered protests.

Act IV, Scene 1:  A merchant demands of Angelo the repayment of a debt, and he is accompanied by an officer.   Angelo says that he can satisfy the debt as soon as Antipholus pays him fo rthe gold chain.  Just ehn, Antipholus of Ephesus appears with his servant, whome he sends to buy a rope, with which he proposes to whip his wife for having kept him out of his house.  When he sees Angelo, he protests that he has not received the gold chain.  Confusion leads to anger, and Antipholus is arrsted.  At this point, Dromio of Syracuse appears.  He announces that he has arranged passage abord a ship and bids Antipholus to come with him.  A confused Antipholus berates him for not having bought the rope instead.  Dromio is then sent to Adriana for bail money.

Act IV, Scene 2:  Luciana and Adriana discuss the apparent infidelity of Atipholus.  Dromio of Syracuse enters and tellsof the need for bail.  The women, who think that he is their Dromio, send him back with the required funds.

Act IV, Scene 3:  Antipholus of Syracuse is wearing the gold chain provided by Angelo.  Dromio of Syracuse arrives with the bail money,but of couse his master does not know what he is talking about.  Antipholus attributes their confusion to the supernatural qualities of the town.  Consequently, when the Courtesan appears, asking if his gold chain is the one that he promised her, he responds by asserting that she must be an agent of the devil.  When she demands the return of a ring she had given him, the Syracusans flee.  The Courtesan reflects Antipholus must surly be mad.  She determines to tell Adriana of her husband's state.

Act IV, Scene 4:  Antipholus of Ephesus, in the custody fo the Officer, sees Dromio of Ephesus an thinks his bail money has arrived.  This Dromio, however, has the rope he was sent to purchase. He is struck with it by the furious Antipholus and delivers an elaborate lament on being beaten.  Adriana, Luciana and the Courtesan arrive, with Dr. Pinch, a quack, who is entreated by Adriana to restore her husband to his senses.  Antipholus, becoming more and more enraged, attempts to strike Adriana, and he an Dromio are restrained and tied up by a group of passers-by.  Pinch takes the two prisoners to Adriana's house for an exoricism.  Antipholus and Dromio of Syracuse appear; the others flee, believeing the two have escaped from Dr. Pinch, and are bent on revenge.

Act V, Scene 1:  Angelo and the Merchant discuss the strange behavior of Antipholus of Ephesus, just then Antipholus and Dromio of Syracuse enter.  Angelo charges Antipholus with dishonesty, an tempers flare.  Antipholus and the merchant draw swords.  Adriana, Luciana, the Courtesan reappear, calling for help in capturing Antipholus and Dromio.  The two Syracusans flee, taking sancturary in a nearby priory.  The Abbess of the Prior, Emilia, emerges.  Adriana demands the return of her husband; the Abbess refuses to violate the right of sanctuary.  Adriana determines to appeal to the Duke.  The Duke appears with a retinue including the unfortunate Efeon, who is to be beheaded.  Antipholus and Dromio of Ephesus arrive, having escaped from Pinch. Antipholus, too, demands justice of the Duke.  Charges and counter-charges are exchanged by Antipholus, Angelo, Adriana and the Courtesan.  The extent of the confusion overwhelms the Duke, who sends for th abbess.  Egeon claims Antipholus of Ephesus as his son, but, as it is the wrong Antipholus, he denies Egeon as his father.  The Abbess recognizes Egeon and reveals that she is his long-lost wife, Emilia.  The identities of the twins are quickly established and Emilia invites all the company to a feast of celebration in the Priory.   

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All's Well the Ends Well Antony & Cleopatra As You Like It Cardenio Comedy of Errors Coriolanus
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Henry VI, Part 1 Henry VI, Part 2 Henry VI, Part 3 Henry VIII Julius Caesar King John
King Lear Love's Labours Lost Love's Labours Wonne Macbeth Measure for Measure Merchant of Venice
The Merry Wives of Windsor A Mid Summer Night's Dream  Much Ado About Nothing Othello Pericles Richard II
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