Comedy of Errors Act IV

Scene 1

Another merchant asks Angelo for the money he owes him. He is delaying his sea voyage specifically to see this debt paid. Angelo assures him that as soon as he is paid for the gold chain he just delivered, he will pay his debts. Just then he sees Antipholus E, who is pretty irritated that the goldsmith did not show up to the Courtesan’s house like he was supposed to.

Before approaching the goldsmith, Antipholus E sends Dromio E to go and buy some rope for Antipholus to give to his wife. Antipholus asks Angelo why he didn’t show up with the chain like he was supposed to. Angelo thinks this joke is HILARIOUS and delivers the receipt for the chain. Antipholus explains that he doesn’t have the money on him, but Angelo can deliver the chain to his wife and she will get the money for him (apparently his plans changed?). It seems like a good plan to Angelo so he asks for the chain back to deliver to his wife, but Antipholus E doesn’t have the chain. What follows is an entire “Who’s on first?” style conversation until the other merchant gets so irritated that he tells the officer to arrest Angelo. Angelo is not okay with this at all and insists that the officer arrest Antipholus since he’s the one refusing to pay his debts.

Just then Dromio S shows up with the great news that he found a ship for them to leave on. Antipholus E is understandably frustrated since he sent Dromio for a rope not a ship. He sends Dromio S to Adriana to get the bail money needed to free him. Dromio S is nervous to see his so called “wife” again, but goes to get the money.

Scene 2

Luciana explains to Adriana that Antipholus was confessing his love to her. This, of course, shocks Adriana and she calls Antipholus all sorts of horrible names. Luciana argues that if he’s so terrible, then it’s no great loss. Adriana does not find this to be particularly comforting.

Dromio S enters, winded, asking for the bail money. Adriana is shocked to learn her husband is in jail and sends her sister to fetch the money. Dromio hears the clock strike one and worries over the time because he left his master at two. Adriana questions how time could turn backward and Dromio S explains that time turns backward out of fear when the police are involved. He further explains that Time is both in debt and a thief, so Time, of course, would run from the law. Before this odd conversation can continue further, Luciana returns with the money and Dromio runs off.

Scene 3

Antipholus S marvels at the fact that everyone in this town greets him with respect and gives him things, like fancy new clothes. Dromio S runs up with the money and questions how Antipholus is free with such fancy new clothes. Antipholus S has no idea what Dromio is talking about and asks about the ship. Dromio explains that he told him about the ship right when he was getting arrested. Antipholus assumes more magic is happening and takes the money.

Cue Courtesan. She is happy to see that Antipholus has that gold chain he promised her. He condemns her as a devil and tells her to begone from his presence. Dromio explains that they should be even more concerned because she is a devil’s mistress, a witch. She thinks this is very funny and insists he give her the chain or the ring he took in exchange for the chain. They assume this is some sort of spell and flee from her.

She decides that since he has clearly lost his mind, she’ll go tell his wife and get what’s hers.

Scene 4

Antipholus E assures the jailer that he will pay the bail money. Dromio E comes in with his sweet rope. Since Antipholus was expecting a bunch of money, he is pretty disappointed. They get mad at each other.

To make everything better, Adriana shows up with Luciana, the Courtesan, and a “doctor”. Once Antipholus E and Dromio E explain their side of what happened, Dr. Pinch diagnoses them as possessed and they are quickly bound up and sent for home to be “cured”. This turn of events makes Antipholus E extra angry. He pleads with the jailer to save him, which he attempts to do , but, when Adriana agrees to pay his debts, he lets Antipholus get dragged off.

Adriana questions the Officer about why her husband was arrested and what debt he owes. When the officer explains that he owes money to Angelo, the Courtesan interjects with her own story. She explains that the madman Antipholus burst into her house and stole her ring and then she found him with the chain. Adriana is amazed that her husband did this.

Antipholus S and Dromio S burst on to the scene with their swords drawn. Fearing for their lives, all the others flee. Antipholus S, pleased that the witches are afraid of swords, tells Dromio to grab their stuff from the inn and get them on that ship. Dromio wouldn’t mind staying if it wasn’t for his giant wife, since everyone keeps giving them gold and stuff. Antipholus refuses to stay even one more night.

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