The Comedy of Errors

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

We talk with goblins, owls, and sprites:
If we obey them not, this will ensue:
185They’ll suck our breath, or pinch us black and blue.
speaking with goblins, owls, and demons. If we don’t obey them, they’ll suck the life out of us or pinch us black and blue.

LUCIANA

Why prat’st thou to thyself and answer’st not?
Dromio—thou, Dromio—thou snail, thou slug, thou sot.

LUCIANA

Why are you mumbling to yourself instead of answering the order I gave you? Dromio, you drone, you snail, you slug, you idiot!

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

I am transformèd, master, am I not?

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

I’ve been transformed somehow, haven’t I, master?

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

I think thou art in mind, and so am I.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

I think your mind has been altered, and mine too.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

190Nay, master, both in mind and in my shape.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

No, master, I’ve been changed in both mind and body.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

Thou hast thine own form.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

Your body looks the same.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

     No, I am an ape.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

LUCIANA

If thou art changed to aught, ’tis to an ass.

LUCIANA

If you’ve changed into anything, it’s an ass.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

'Tis true. She rides me, and I long for grass.
'Tis so. I am an ass; else it could never be
195But I should know her as well as she knows me.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

That’s true. She’s riding me hard, and all I want to do is get out of here. I must be as stupid as an ass—that’s why I don’t know her, but she knows me.

ADRIANA

Come, come, no longer will I be a fool,
To put the finger in the eye and weep
Whilst man and master laugh my woes to scorn.
Come, sir, to dinner.—Dromio, keep the gate. —
200Husband, I’ll dine above with you today,
And shrive you of a thousand idle pranks.
Sirrah, if any ask you for your master,
Say he dines forth, and let no creature enter.—
Come, sister.—Dromio, play the porter well.

ADRIANA

All right, all right. I won’t play the fool anymore and just cry while my husband and his man laugh at me. Come, husband, let’s go to lunch. Dromio, guard the door. Husband, I’ll eat with you in private today and hear your confession about all the pranks you’ve pulled.

Sirrah

Sirrah = term of address for a person of low social standing

Sirrah
, if anyone asks where your master is, say he’s out to lunch, and don’t let anyone come in. Come, sister. Dromio, do a good job as doorkeeper.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

205Am I in earth, in heaven, or in hell?
Sleeping or waking, mad or well-advised?

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

Am I on earth, in heaven, or in hell? Asleep or awake? Crazy or sane? These people know me, but I don’t