The Comedy of Errors

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

155I, sir? I never saw her till this time.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

Me, sir? I never saw her till now.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

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

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

You liar! You said those exact things to me back in the marketplace.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

I never spake with her in all my life.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

I never talked with her in my life.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

How can she thus then call us by our names—
160Unless it be by inspiration?

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

Then how does she know our names? By magic?

ADRIANA

How ill agrees it with your gravity
To counterfeit thus grossly with your slave,
Abetting him to thwart me in my mood.
Be it my wrong you are from me exempt,
165But wrong not that wrong with a more contempt.
Come, I will fasten on this sleeve of thine.
Thou art an elm, my husband, I a vine,
Whose weakness, married to thy stronger state,
Makes me with thy strength to communicate.
170If aught possess thee from me, it is dross,
Usurping ivy, brier, or idle moss,
Who, all for want of pruning, with intrusion
Infect thy sap and live on thy confusion.

ADRIANA

How distasteful! That a man of your stature would scheme with his servant to upset me like this. It may be my fault that you’ve been avoiding me, but don’t make things worse by treating me with contempt as well. I’ll hang on your sleeve: you’re an elm tree, my husband, and I’m a vine. My weakness is enhanced by your strength, which gives me the strength to say this: the things that take you away from me are worthless—just overgrown weeds in need of a trimming. They get into your system and infect you, feeding off your confusion.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

To me she speaks; she moves me for her theme.
175What, was I married to her in my dream?
Or sleep I now and think I hear all this?
What error drives our eyes and ears amiss?
Until I know this sure uncertainty
I’ll entertain the offered fallacy.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

She’s talking to me. She’s talking about me. What, was I married to her in a dream? Or am I asleep now and imagining all this? What is making our eyes and ears act so strangely? Until I know for sure, I’ll humor her.

LUCIANA

180Dromio, go bid the servants spread for dinner.

LUCIANA

Dromio, tell the servants to prepare for lunch.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

O, for my beads! I cross me for a sinner.
This is the fairy land. O spite of spites!

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

Oh, I wish I had my rosary! I’ll cross myself. This must be some kind of fairyland. Oh, spite of spites! We’re