The Comedy of Errors

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Every why hath a wherefore.

The Comedy of Errors is one of William Shakespeare's early plays, written between 1592 and 1594. It is his shortest and one of his most farcical. A major part of the humor comes from slapstick, mistaken identity, puns and wordplay. It's about twins.

Act I[edit]

Let’s go hand in hand, not one before another.
  • The pleasing punishment that women bear.
    • Ægeon, scene i

  • I to the world am like a drop of water
    That in the Ocean seeks another drop,
    Who, falling there to find his fellow forth,
    (Unseen, inquisitive) confounds himself.
    • Antipholus of Syracuse, scene ii

Act II[edit]

  • A wretched soul, bruis'd with adversity,
    We bid be quiet, when we hear it cry;
    But, were we burden'd with like weight of pain,
    As much or more we should ourselves complain.
    • Adriana, scene i

  • Every why hath a wherefore.
    • Dromio of Syracuse, scene ii

Act III[edit]

  • Small cheer and great welcome makes a merry feast.
    • Balthazar, scene i

  • Your town is troubled with unruly boys.
    • Dromio of Syracuse, scene i

  • No longer from head to foot than from hip to hip; she is spherical, like a globe; I could find out countries in her.
    • Dromio of Syracuse, scene ii

Act IV[edit]

  • He is deformed, crooked, old and sere,
    Ill-faced, worse bodied, shapeless everywhere;
    Vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind,
    Stigmatical in making, worse in mind.
    • Adriana, scene ii

  • Marry, he must have a long spoon that must eat with the devil.
    • Dromio of Syracuse, scene iii

  • I am an Asse indeed; you may prove it by my long ears. I have served him from the hour of my Nativity to this instant, and have nothing at his hands for my service but blows. When I am cold, he heats me with beating; when I am warm, he cools me with beating; I am waked with it when I sleep, raised with it when I sit, driven out of doors with it when I go from home, welcomed home with it when I return, nay, I bear it on my shoulders as a beggar wont her brat; and I think when he hath lamed me, I shall beg with it from door to door.
    • Dromio of Ephesus, scene iv

Act V[edit]

  • Be quiet, people;
    • Æmilia (the Abbess), scene i

  • A hungry lean-fac'd villain,
    A mere anatomy.
    • Antipholus of Ephesus, scene i

  • A needy, hollow-ey'd, sharp-looking wretch,
    A living-dead man.
    • Antipholus of Ephesus, scene i

  • Let’s go hand in hand, not one before another.
    • Dromio of Ephesus, scene i

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