The Comedy of Errors

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Dromio of Syracuse Character Analysis

The other twin servant, who accompanies Antipholus of Syracuse to Ephesus. Like his twin, Dromio does his best to obey his master, but ends up getting beaten and scolded as a result of the mistaken identities that drive all the errors of the play. He is equally as clever and quick with words as his twin.

Dromio of Syracuse Quotes in The Comedy of Errors

The The Comedy of Errors quotes below are all either spoken by Dromio of Syracuse or refer to Dromio of Syracuse. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Commerce and Exchange Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Simon & Schuster edition of The Comedy of Errors published in 2005.
Act 2, Scene 2 Quotes

Fie, brother! How the world is changed with you!
When were you wont to use my sister thus?
She sent for you by Dromio home to dinner.

By Dromio?

By me?

By thee; and this thou didst return from him,
That he did buffet thee, and, in his blows,
Denied my house for his, me for his wife.

Did you converse, sir, with this gentlewoman?
What is the course and drift of your compact?
I, Sir? I never saw her till this time.

Villain, thou liest; for even her very words
Didst thou deliver to me on the mart.

I never spake with her in all my life.

How can she thus, then, call us by our names,
Unless it be by inspiration.

Related Characters: Antipholus of Syracuse (speaker), Dromio of Syracuse (speaker), Adriana (speaker), Luciana (speaker)
Page Number: 2.2.163-178
Explanation and Analysis:

Antipholus of Syracuse and Dromio of Syracuse are extremely confused by Adriana's long tirade, and so Antipholus explains that he has just landed in Ephesus. Luciana begins the dialogue in the quote by commenting how changed Antipholus seems, continuing to confuse him for his twin, Antipholus of Ephesus. Luciana asks him why he is treating her sister this way, pretending he doesn't know her when Dromio was sent to bring Antipholus home for dinner. Thus the comedic response of Antipholus and Dromio in turn: "By Dromio?" "By me?"

Adriana confirms that she sent Dromio and that he returned from Antipholus having been beaten and denied. Dromio of Syracuse respond in confusion, since he has never before met Adriana, but Antipholus calls him a liar, having interacted with (beaten) Dromio of Ephesus. Antipholus concludes by asking how else could Adriana know Dromio's name, unless by divine inspiration or witchcraft. This scene continues the building sequence of coincidences and mistaken identities. Like with most of the issues, the servants (Dromios) take the blame for the miscommunications and problems. Antipholus of Syracuse is uncertain what to do and if he is dreaming or not, and he ultimately decides to follow Adriana and pretend to be her husband in order to find out more information.

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Act 3, Scene 2 Quotes

Why, how now, Dromio! Where runn’st thou so fast?

Do you know me, sir? Am I Dromio? Am I your man? Am I myself?

Thou art Dromio, thou art my man, thou art thyself.

I am an ass, I am a woman’s man, and besides myself.

What woman’s man? And how besides thyself?

Marry, sir, besides myself, I am due to a woman; one that claims me, one that haunts me, one that will have me.

Related Characters: Antipholus of Syracuse (speaker), Dromio of Syracuse (speaker)
Page Number: 3.2.77-89
Explanation and Analysis:

Upset by Antipholus of Syracuse's sudden declaration of love, Luciana has run to get her sister. As she exits, Dromio of Syracuse runs onto the stage. Antipholus stops him and asks where he's running so quickly. Here Dromio responds with the comedic line that also speaks to the eerie feeling of being out of place: "Am I Dromio? Am I your man? Am I myself?" He is so confused by the way others are treating him that he begins to question if he really is himself. Antipholus assures him that he is himself, before Dromio claims to be an "ass" and a "woman's man." Dromio proceeds to describe an interaction with the kitchen woman named Nell, whom Dromio of Ephesus is engaged to. Nell mistook Dromio of Syracuse for her fiancee, instigating the strange, self-questioning hysteria in Dromio of Syracuse. He goes on describes Nell as extremely fat, making an elaborate joke that she is the size of a globe, naming different parts of her body with countries around the world (also note the pun on Shakespeare's theatre, named the Globe). This scene is played for comedy, but it also causes Antipholus to believe that there are "none but witches" in Ephesus, using magic and witchcraft to explain what are actually a series of coincidences and human errors. He decides to leave Ephesus as soon as possible, and sends Dromio to find out when the soonest departing ship leaves.

Act 4, Scene 1 Quotes

What ship of Epidamnum stays for me?

A ship you sent me to, to hire waftage.

Thou drunken slave, I sent thee for a rope,
And told thee to what purpose and what end.

You sent me for a rope’s end as soon:
You sent me to the bay, sir, for a bark.

I will debate this matter at more leisure,
And teach your ears to list me with more heed.
To Adriana, villain, hie thee straight:
Give her this key, and tell her, in the desk
That’s cover’d o’er with Turkish tapestry
There is a purse of ducats; let her send it:
Tell her I am arrested in the street,
And that shall bail me: hie thee, slave, be gone!

Related Characters: Antipholus of Ephesus (speaker), Dromio of Syracuse (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Gold Necklace, Bail Money, and Diamond Ring
Page Number: 4.1.96-109
Explanation and Analysis:

As Antipholus of Ephesus is being arrested, Dromio of Syracuse returns with news about departing ships. He tells Antipholus, whom he mistakes for his master, that there is a ship of Epidamnum waiting in the harbor. Antipholus begins the dialogue in the quote by asking, confusedly, what ship is waiting for him. Dromio responds that it's the ship that he was sent to hire. But Antipholus of Ephesus has sent Dromio of Ephesus to buy a rope, and of course makes the servant the scapegoat for the error, blaming Dromio of Syracuse and yelling at him. He threatens his servant, implying that he will beat him until he knows how to listen better, than orders Dromio to go back to Adriana and get bail money from a desk. Thus another financial object, this time money itself, is interjected into the system of mistaken exchanges and errors.

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Dromio of Syracuse Character Timeline in The Comedy of Errors

The timeline below shows where the character Dromio of Syracuse appears in The Comedy of Errors. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1, Scene 2
Appearances and Identity Theme Icon
Mistakes and Coincidences Theme Icon
Scapegoats and Social Hierarchy Theme Icon
...go to the Centaur Inn and find Dromio (who he still thinks is his own Dromio of Syracuse ). (full context)
Act 3, Scene 1
Appearances and Identity Theme Icon
Mistakes and Coincidences Theme Icon
Antipholus sends Dromio to the door of his house, but Dromio of Syracuse , who is guarding the door from the inside, refuses to let anyone in. Dromio... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 2
Marriage and Family Theme Icon
Appearances and Identity Theme Icon
Mistakes and Coincidences Theme Icon
...he loves her sister’s sister (i.e. her) instead. Luciana runs off to get Adriana, and Dromio of Syracuse comes out of the house. He asks whether he is himself, and then says that... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 1
Appearances and Identity Theme Icon
Mistakes and Coincidences Theme Icon
Dromio of Syracuse enters and tells Antipholus of Ephesus (who he thinks is his master) that there is... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 2
Commerce and Exchange Theme Icon
Marriage and Family Theme Icon
Appearances and Identity Theme Icon
Mistakes and Coincidences Theme Icon
...angrily calls her husband “deformed, crooked, old, and sere, / ill-fac’d, worse bodied, shapeless everywhere.” Dromio of Syracuse enters and announces that Antipholus has been arrested. He asks Adriana to get bail money... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 3
Appearances and Identity Theme Icon
Mistakes and Coincidences Theme Icon
Antipholus of Syracuse runs into Dromio of Syracuse in the street. Antipholus mentions that all sorts of people in Ephesus act as if... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 4
Commerce and Exchange Theme Icon
...to be brought to Angelo, to figure out what’s going on. Just then, Antipholus and Dromio of Syracuse enter with their swords drawn. (full context)
Act 5, Scene 1
Commerce and Exchange Theme Icon
Appearances and Identity Theme Icon
Mistakes and Coincidences Theme Icon
...“of very reverend reputation” and usually good for his money. Antipholus of Syracuse enters with Dromio of Syracuse . Angelo sees his chain around Antipholus, and asks Antipholus how he can deny that... (full context)
Appearances and Identity Theme Icon
Mistakes and Coincidences Theme Icon
The abbess enters with Antipholus and Dromio of Syracuse , much to everyone’s confusion. The Duke thinks that they must be spirits, not the... (full context)
Commerce and Exchange Theme Icon
Marriage and Family Theme Icon
...priory so they can “hear at large discoursed all our fortunes,” and sort everything out. Dromio of Syracuse asks if he should get his master’s things from the boat, but mistakenly addresses Antipholus... (full context)
Commerce and Exchange Theme Icon
Marriage and Family Theme Icon
Appearances and Identity Theme Icon
Mistakes and Coincidences Theme Icon
Everyone but Dromio of Ephesus and Dromio of Syracuse leaves to go into the abbey. Dromio of Syracuse says that there is a “fat... (full context)