The Comedy of Errors

Pdf fan Tap here to download this LitChart! (PDF)

The Gold Necklace, Bail Money, and Diamond Ring Symbol Analysis

The Gold Necklace, Bail Money, and Diamond Ring Symbol Icon
While there are not really any symbols in the play (insofar as objects that stand in for something other than what they really are), there are several highly important objects that function as links between characters, plot points, and significant themes. The gold necklace made by Angelo, the courtesan’s diamond ring, and the bail money intended for Antipholus of Ephesus are all exchanged and end up in the wrong hands. They drive the plot of the comedy, resulting in the arrest of Antipholus of Ephesus, Antipholus’ beating Dromio (for not bringing the bail money), and the courtesan’s getting involved in things. As these things pass from character to character, they highlight the importance of the idea of exchange in the play (of money, objects, and also of identities), and also serve as indicators of all the mix-ups of the play: neither the necklace nor the bail money go to the right character, and the diamond ring is not returned to the courtesan as promised. The very idea of bail (giving money in return for someone’s release from jail) suggests the extent to which the world of the play is governed by economics, as money can be exchanged effectively for a human being (a point driven home by Aegeon’s needing 1000 marks to save his life). The return of all these objects to their rightful owners at the end of the play signifies at last the resolution of all the play’s various errors.

The Gold Necklace, Bail Money, and Diamond Ring Quotes in The Comedy of Errors

The The Comedy of Errors quotes below all refer to the symbol of The Gold Necklace, Bail Money, and Diamond Ring. 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 1, Scene 2 Quotes

Where is the gold I gave in charge to thee?

To me, sir? Why, you gave no gold to me.

Come on, sir knave, have done your foolishness,
And tell me how thou hast disposed thy charge.

My charge was but to fetch you from the mart
Home to your house, the Phoenix, sir, to dinner:
My mistress and her sister stays for you.

Now, as I am a Christian, answer me,
In what safe place you have bestow’d my money;
Or I shall break that merry sconce of yours,
That stands on tricks when I am undisposed:
Where is the thousand marks thou hadst of me?

Related Characters: Antipholus of Syracuse (speaker), Dromio of Ephesus (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Gold Necklace, Bail Money, and Diamond Ring
Page Number: 1.2.71-82
Explanation and Analysis:

Dromio of Ephesus has entered the stage immediately after Antipholus of Syracuse finished his soliloquy. Dromio of Ephesus mistakes this Antipholus for his master, Antipholus of Ephesus, and tells Antipholus of Syracuse that it's time to come home dinner. Antipholus of Syracuse is confused, thinking that the Dromio he is speaking with is Dromio of Syracuse, the servant he just sent to the Centaur Inn with money. Thus at the beginning of the quote, Antipholus asks the wrong Dromio where is the gold that he gave to his own Dromio. Dromio of Ephesus is confused, and responds as such, since Antipholus of Syracuse only gave money to Dromio of Syracuse. The two continue to mistake each other for their twins, one asking for his money, the other asking his master to come home for dinner.

This interaction is the first of many, many confusing scenes of mistaken identities. Note that the social hierarchy dominates the interaction. In the dialogue that follows the quote, Dromio puns on "marks," saying he has received physical marks from beatings as opposed to marks as currency. Throughout the play, both master Antipholuses beat their (and their twin's) Dromio. The masters constantly blame the servants for the misunderstandings, and this scene shows early on how the dynamic will work in the play.

A+

Unlock explanations and citation info for this and every other The Comedy of Errors quote.

Plus so much more...

Get LitCharts A+
Already a LitCharts A+ member? Sign in!

Upon my life, by some device or other
The villain is o’erraught of all my money.
They say this town is full of cozenage;
As, nimble jugglers that deceive the eye,
Dark-working sorcerers that change the mind.
Soul-killing witches that deform the body,
Disguised cheaters, prating mountebanks,
And many such-like liberties of sin:
If it prove so, I will be gone the sooner.
I’ll to the Centaur, to go seek this slave:
I greatly fear my money is not safe.

Related Characters: Antipholus of Syracuse (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Gold Necklace, Bail Money, and Diamond Ring
Page Number: 1.2.98-108
Explanation and Analysis:

After Dromio runs off stage to avoid further beating, Antipholus of Syracuse offers this soliloquy. He first suggests that Dromio is a villain who has run away with Antipholus's money. Antipholus of Syracuse then goes on to say that he has heard that Ephesus is home to "dark-working sorcerers" and "soul-killing witches." The supernatural explanation for the misunderstanding is humorous, and at the same time eerie. The dark undertones of Aegeon's possible execution are still fresh, and sorcery is the only way that Antipholus of Syracuse, who believes his situation to be hopeless, can understand the interaction he's just had with Dromio of Ephesus.

Act 2, Scene 1 Quotes

When I desired him to come home to dinner,
He ask’d me for a thousand marks in gold:
‘’Tis dinner-time,’ quoth I; ‘My gold!’ quoth he:
‘Your meat doth burn,’ quoth I; ‘My gold!’ quoth he:
‘Will you come home?’ quoth I; ‘My gold!’ quoth he,
‘Where is the thousand marks I gave thee, villain?’
‘The pig,’ quoth I, ‘is burn’d;’ ‘My gold!’ quoth he:
‘My mistress, sir,’ quoth I; “Hang up thy mistress!
I know not thy mistress; out on thy mistress!’

Related Characters: Dromio of Ephesus (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Gold Necklace, Bail Money, and Diamond Ring
Page Number: 2.1.62-72
Explanation and Analysis:

After Luciana and Adriana continue to argue about men, power, and marriage—with Luciana arguing that men are masters of nature and their wives—Dromio of Ephesus enters. Remember that Dromio of Ephesus was sent by Adriana to summon Antipholus of Ephesus, but Dromio accidentally called on Antiopholus of Syracuse. Here Dromio of Ephesus tells his mistress Adriana about the confusing interaction he had with the man they believe to be her husband. Dromio humorously stages a mini-dialogue, giving both his voice and the responses from Antipholus of Syracuse. Thus on stage we see the first case of mistaken identity played out for a second time.

Dromio's impersonation of Antipholus consists mainly of one line: "My gold!" This emphasizes commerce and Antipholus's demand for his money, which will be transferred around and demanded again and again throughout the play. Finally, Antipholus speaks out against Dromio's "mistress," giving the impression that he is claiming not to know his own wife. This strange behavior makes Adriana believe that Antipholus of Ephesus is cheating on her (outlined below) and shows a potential for another family split, echoing the original division of Aegeon's family.

Dromio reports that he was beaten and that Antipholus spoke only of his gold, but Adriana sends him out to fetch Antipholus again, and also probably to receive more beatings.

I know his eye doth homage otherwhere;
Or else what lets it but he would be here?
Sister, you know he promised me a chain;
Would that alone, alone he would detain,
So he would keep fair quarter with his bed!
I see the jewel best enameled
Will lose his beauty; yet the gold bides still,
That others touch, and often touching will
Wear gold: and no man that hath a name,
By falsehood and corruption doth it shame.
Since that my beauty cannot please his eye,
I’ll weep what’s left away, and weeping die.

Related Characters: Adriana (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Gold Necklace, Bail Money, and Diamond Ring
Page Number: 2.1.109-120
Explanation and Analysis:

After Dromio of Ephesus leaves to seek Antipholus of Ephesus, Adriana tells Luciana her interpretation of Dromio's report. Despite warnings from Luciana not to be jealous, Adriana believes the behavior Dromio described indicates that Antipholus is cheating on her, and that "his eye doth homage otherwhere." Otherwise, the behavior and his absence from the home is inexplicable to her. Adriana goes on to mention the gold necklace that Antipholus promised to her. This chain will be another key object of commerce and exchange, as well as misunderstanding and fury for many of the play's characters.

To Adriana, the gold chain is a token of Antipholus's love, symbolizing beauty, goodness, and permanence. She remarks that even the "best enameled" jewels will lose their beauty (as humans do with age), while gold remains constant. It is incorrupt and everlasting. Adriana concludes that she, unlike gold, is apparently no longer beautiful enough to please Antipholus, dramatically resigning to weep and die. Despite her desire for more power in her marriage, Adriana is incredibly hurt by the idea of Antipholus's infidelity.

Note also that once Dromio leaves the stage, Luciana and Adriana revert back to rhyming.

Act 3, Scene 2 Quotes

Master Antipholus,—

Ay, that’s my name.

I know it well, sir:—lo, here is the chain.
I thought to have ta’en you at the Porpentine:
The chain unfinish’d made me stay thus long.

What is your will that I shall do with this?

What please yourself, sir: I have made it for you.

Made it for me, sir! I bespoke it not.

Related Characters: Antipholus of Syracuse (speaker), Angelo (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Gold Necklace, Bail Money, and Diamond Ring
Page Number: 3.2.182-189
Explanation and Analysis:

After Dromio leaves to find out when the next ship leaves, Angelo enters with the golden necklace that Antipholus of Ephesus promised Adriana. Angelo confuses Antipholus of Syracuse for his twin, and gives the chain to the wrong person. Antipholus denies requesting the chain, but eventually accepts it, confused by the interaction. This exchange begins the series of botched exchanges and trades with the wrong people that will continue throughout the play. Soon Antipholus of Ephesus will deny having received the necklace, since he truly has not, and frustration will build. This series of commercial mistakes will also involve a Merchant, who demands payment from Angelo. Angelo will demand money for the chain, but struggle to receive it having given it to the wrong person.

Act 4, Scene 1 Quotes

I answer you! What should I answer you?

The money that you owe me for the chain.

I owe you none till I receive the chain.

You know I gave it you half an hour since.

You gave me none: you wrong me much to say so.

You wrong me more, sir, in denying it:
Consider how it stands upon my credit.

Well, officer, arrest him at my suit.

Related Characters: Antipholus of Ephesus (speaker), Angelo (speaker), Merchant (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Gold Necklace, Bail Money, and Diamond Ring
Page Number: 4.1.62-69
Explanation and Analysis:

This scene begins with Angelo and a Merchant discussing the money that one owes the other. Angelo explains that he will pay the Merchant as soon as he receives payment for the Gold Necklace. When Antipholus of Ephesus enters, Angelo gives him the bill for the chain, saying he needs the money immediately so that he can pay the Merchant. Antipholus says that his money at home, and invites Angelo to come deliver the chain and receive payment there. This offer confuses Angelo, since he has already given the chain to Antipholus of Syracuse. The two men become confused and irate, leading up to the dialogue in the quote.

Angelo demands the money, but Antipholus of Ephesus demands the chain, denying that he ever received it. They both claim to be wronged by the other, and eventually the Merchant, wanting his money, intervenes by having an Officer arrest Antipholus. This commercial debate is ridiculous given the confusion of both parties, making the arrest of Antipholus of Ephesus one of the most comedic errors of the play.

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.

Act 4, Scene 3 Quotes

Thou art, as you are all, a sorceress:
I conjure thee to leave me and be gone.

Give me the ring of mine you had at dinner,
Or, for my diamond, the chain you promised,
And I’ll be gone, sir, and not trouble you.

Related Characters: Antipholus of Syracuse (speaker), Courtesan (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Gold Necklace, Bail Money, and Diamond Ring
Page Number: 4.3.68-72
Explanation and Analysis:

Antipholus of Syracuse is convinced that devils, sorcerers, and witches inhabit Ephesus and are the cause of all of the confusion. A Courtesan enters the stage and calls Antipholus by name, causing him to shout at her and call her Satan. The Courtesan requests of Antipholus the chain, which he has, in exchange for a diamond ring. Apparently, Antipholus of Ephesus purchased the gold necklace with the intention of trading it with the Courtesan for the diamond ring. The exchanges have all gotten mixed up due to the countless errors and mistakes, so the Courtesan believes that Antipholus has stolen her ring. This detail is especially confusing, as Adriana mentioned that she was promised a chain, not a ring. After Antipholus and Dromio leave, the Courtesan concludes that they are insane, and goes to tell Adriana that her husband has stolen the ring.

Act 4, Scene 4 Quotes

Alas, I sent you money to redeem you,
By Dromio here, who came in haste for it.

Money by me! Heart and good-will you might;
But surely, master, not a rag of money.

Went’st not thou to her for a purse of ducats?

He came to me, and I deliver’d it.

And I am witness with her that she did.

God and the rope-maker bear me witness
That I was sent for nothing but a rope!

Related Characters: Antipholus of Ephesus (speaker), Dromio of Ephesus (speaker), Adriana (speaker), Luciana (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Gold Necklace, Bail Money, and Diamond Ring
Page Number: 4.4.88-96
Explanation and Analysis:

Dromio of Ephesus returns to the arrested Antipholus of Ephesus with the rope that was requested for Adriana. However, since that command, Antipholus has told Dromio of Syracuse to get the bail money. Thus when Dromio of Ephesus shows up with only a rope, Antipholus is furious. Adriana and Luciana then enter, along with the Courtesan. They think that Antipholus is mad, and argue about if Antipholus and Adriana ate dinner together or not. Here, Adriana says that she sent bail money with Dromio. She has, of course, sent it with the other Dromio, so Dromio of Ephesus begins to look insane, too, since he claims only to have been sent for a rope. The confusion in this scene is especially knotted and humorous since Antipholus of Ephesus has given commands to both Dromios. Every character is confused, so the mistakes and false identities continue in their absurdities.

In this scene Adriana pays Antipholus's bail and decides to shut him and Dromio up inside, but moments after their exit, Antipholus and Dromio of Syracuse enter the stage. At this sight, Adriana is convinced that Antipholus and Dromio of Ephesus have escaped. Now, even people are exchanged as commodities, and of course the exchange of persons is also confounded and filled with error. Antipholus and Dromio of Syracuse escape and get ready to leave Ephesus. 

Act 5, Scene 1 Quotes

You have done wrong to this my honest friend;
Who, but for staying on our controversy,
Had hoisted sail and put to sea to-day:
This chain you had of me; can you deny it?

I think I had; I never did deny it.

Yes, that you did, sir, and forswore it too.

Who heard me to deny it or forswear it?

These ears of mine, thou know’st, did hear thee.

Related Characters: Antipholus of Syracuse (speaker), Angelo (speaker), Merchant (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Gold Necklace, Bail Money, and Diamond Ring
Page Number: 5.1.19-26
Explanation and Analysis:
As Angelo and the Merchant discuss their financial situation, Antipholus and Dromio of Syracuse enter while Antipholus is wearing the gold necklace. Angelo and the Merchant ask why he denied receiving the chain if he is wearing it, mistaking him for Antipholus of Ephesus. Comedically, Antipholus doesn't deny receiving the chain, instead denying that he ever denied receiving it. The Merchant and Angelo claim to have heard Antipholus swear denial, which angers him. Honor is extremely important to Antipholus, and despite the humorous nature of the dozens of errors and coincidences, he is willing to duel to protect his word. Before a fight can begin, Adriana, Luciana, and the Courtesan enter and tell Angelo and the Merchant that Antipholus and Dromio are mad. The pair then flees to a nearby abbey.
Get the entire The Comedy of Errors LitChart as a printable PDF.
The comedy of errors.pdf.medium

The Gold Necklace, Bail Money, and Diamond Ring Symbol Timeline in The Comedy of Errors

The timeline below shows where the symbol The Gold Necklace, Bail Money, and Diamond Ring appears in The Comedy of Errors. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 3, Scene 1
Commerce and Exchange Theme Icon
...because his wife gets “shrewish” when he is late for dinner. He tells Angelo to bring a necklace he has ordered for his wife to his house tomorrow. (full context)
Commerce and Exchange Theme Icon
Marriage and Family Theme Icon
...dinner elsewhere and return home later that night to ask his wife why she is barring the door, when fewer people will see any altercation between them. Antipholus is persuaded and... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 2
Commerce and Exchange Theme Icon
Appearances and Identity Theme Icon
Mistakes and Coincidences Theme Icon
...she has almost enchanted him with her “mermaid’s song.” Angelo enters and gives Antipholus the necklace that Antipholus of Ephesus had ordered. Antipholus of Syracuse is confused, but accepts the chain.... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 1
Commerce and Exchange Theme Icon
In Ephesus, a merchant tells Angelo that he owes him money, and that since he is leaving for Persia soon, he needs the money immediately, or... (full context)
Commerce and Exchange Theme Icon
Appearances and Identity Theme Icon
Mistakes and Coincidences Theme Icon
...him out of his home. Dromio leaves. Angelo gives Antipholus a bill for the gold chain he ordered and asks for his payment immediately, as the merchant needs to go to... (full context)
Commerce and Exchange Theme Icon
Appearances and Identity Theme Icon
Mistakes and Coincidences Theme Icon
Angelo is confused, and asks if Antipholus has the chain. Antipholus says he does not, and Angelo insists that he gave him the necklace already.... (full context)
Commerce and Exchange Theme Icon
Appearances and Identity Theme Icon
...deal with Dromio later, and tells him to go to Adriana and have her send bail money to get him out of hail. Dromio is hesitant to go back to Adriana’s... (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
...of Syracuse enters and announces that Antipholus has been arrested. He asks Adriana to get bail money from Antipholus’ desk. (full context)
Commerce and Exchange Theme Icon
Appearances and Identity Theme Icon
Mistakes and Coincidences Theme Icon
Luciana goes to get the money and Adriana and Dromio share some witty banter. He tells her Antipholus was arrested over... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 3
Commerce and Exchange Theme Icon
Appearances and Identity Theme Icon
Mistakes and Coincidences Theme Icon
...on. A courtesan enters and greets Antipholus by his name. She asks if the gold chain he has is for her. Antipholus and Dromio think she is “Mistress Satan,” and “the... (full context)
Commerce and Exchange Theme Icon
Mistakes and Coincidences Theme Icon
The courtesan asks for his chain, which he had promised her in return for the diamond ring he took from her,... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 4
Commerce and Exchange Theme Icon
Appearances and Identity Theme Icon
Mistakes and Coincidences Theme Icon
Scapegoats and Social Hierarchy Theme Icon
...officer. Dromio of Ephesus finds him, and Antipholus is hopeful that he will have the money for his bail. Dromio, however, only has the rope Antipholus asked for earlier. Antipholus is... (full context)
Commerce and Exchange Theme Icon
Appearances and Identity Theme Icon
Mistakes and Coincidences Theme Icon
Adriana continues to think Antipholus is mad, and says that she sent money with Dromio to bail him out. Dromio denies this, though Luciana says she saw Adriana... (full context)
Commerce and Exchange Theme Icon
Adriana learns that Antipholus owes money for a chain that Angelo made. The courtesan adds that Antipholus took her ring and... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 1
Commerce and Exchange Theme Icon
Appearances and Identity Theme Icon
Mistakes and Coincidences Theme Icon
Angelo apologizes to the merchant for making him wait for his money. He says that Antipholus is “of very reverend reputation” and usually good for his money.... (full context)
Commerce and Exchange Theme Icon
Mistakes and Coincidences Theme Icon
...wife locked him out of his home; then, Angelo did not deliver him his gold chain, so he went to find him and Angelo said that he had already given it... (full context)
Mistakes and Coincidences Theme Icon
...that Antipholus was indeed locked out from dinner, but insists that he gave Antipholus the chain. The merchant says that Antipholus even admitted to having the chain and was ready to... (full context)
Commerce and Exchange Theme Icon
Appearances and Identity Theme Icon
Mistakes and Coincidences Theme Icon
...home but with the courtesan. The courtesan agrees and says that he then stole her ring. The Duke calls for the abbess, and says he thinks everyone is “stark mad.” Aegeon... (full context)
Commerce and Exchange Theme Icon
Appearances and Identity Theme Icon
Mistakes and Coincidences Theme Icon
...he is not her brother-in-law, he would like to pursue her love. Angelo sees his chain on Antipholus of Syracuse, and Antipholus of Syracuse also produces the bail money that Adriana... (full context)
Commerce and Exchange Theme Icon
Marriage and Family Theme Icon
Antipholus of Ephesus says he will use the bail money to pay Aegeon’s fine, but the Duke says that he will simply pardon Aegeon.... (full context)