In The Comedy of Errors, what was the confusion over the gold chain?

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squeezebox eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The golden chain serves as a major source of confusion throughout the play. Antipholus of Ephesus commissions a golden chain to be made by Angelo, a goldsmith. He instructs Angelo to meet him at the Porpentine where he plans to give it to the courtesan. However, on his way to the Porpentine, Angelo runs into Antipholus of Syracuse and, believing he is the Antipholus he is looking for, gives him the chain instead. Not only does he give the chain to the wrong Antipholus, but he also does not accept payment for it right away, saying he will come to him later that night to collect the money.

When Angelo comes to collect his money, he is accompanied by a merchant to whom he himself owes money. Of course, he tries to collect money from Antipholus of Ephesus who, of course, denies he has received the chain. Embarrassed and frustrated, Angelo has him arrested for refusing to pay.

When we see Angelo again, he is apologizing to the merchant to whom he owes money and he happens upon Antipholus of Syracuse who is wearing the chain. This sends Angelo into a rage against Antipholus who escapes into the priory. The ensuing reunion of the twins untwists the confusion of the chain for all in the final scene.


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The Comedy of Errors

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