The Comedy of Errors Characters
by William Shakespeare

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Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)

Antipholus of Syracuse

Antipholus of Syracuse (an-TIHF-oh-luhs), the son of Aegeon and Aemilia. Separated from his twin brother in his childhood, he meets him again under the most baffling circumstances. Shortly after he and his servant, Dromio of Syracuse, land in Ephesus, the whole series of comic errors begins. Antipholus meets his servant’s lost twin brother, who is also bewildered by the ensuing conversation. Thinking this Dromio to be his own servant, Antipholus hits the mystified man on his head with great vigor. Finally, at the end, this puzzle is solved when he recognizes that he has found his identical twin.

Antipholus of Ephesus

Antipholus of Ephesus (EHF-eh-suhs), the identical twin brother of Antipholus of Syracuse. Equally bewildered by his mishaps, he is disgruntled when his wife locks him out of his house. She is blissfully unaware of the truth—that the man at her house is not her husband. In addition, a purse of money is received by the wrong man. Never having seen his own father, or at least not aware of the relationship, he is even more amazed when the old man calls him “son.” By this time, the entire town believes him to be mad, and he, like his twin, is beginning to think that he is bewitched. It is with great relief that he finally learns the true situation and is reunited with his family.

Dromio of Syracuse

Dromio of Syracuse (DROH-mee-oh), the twin brother of Dromio of Ephesus and attendant to Antipholus of Syracuse. He is as much bewildered as his master, who, in the mix-up, belabors both Dromios. To add to his misery, a serving wench takes him for her Dromio and makes unwanted advances. Much to his chagrin, she is “all o’er embellished with, rubies, carbuncles, sapphires.” In addition, she is “no longer from head to foot than from hip to hip. She is spherical, like a globe.”

Dromio of Ephesus

Dromio of Ephesus, who was separated from his identical twin at the same time that the two Antipholuses were separated, during a shipwreck. As is his brother, he is often belabored by his master. In this case, if his master does not pummel him, his mistress will perform the same office. During all this time, he is involved in many cases of mistaken identity. Sent for a piece of rope, he is amazed when his supposed master knows nothing of the transaction.


Aegeon (ee-JEE-on), a merchant of Syracuse. Many years before, he had lost his beloved wife and one son. Since then, his other son has left home to find his twin brother. Now Aegeon is searching for all his family. Landing in Ephesus, he finds that merchants from Syracuse are not allowed there on penalty of death or payment of a large ransom. When Aegeon is unable to raise the ransom, the duke gives the old man a one-day reprieve. He finds his sons just in time, the ransom is paid, and the family is reunited.


Adriana (ay-drih-AY-nuh), the wife of Antipholus of Ephesus. When her husband denies his relationship to her, she (unaware that he is the wrong man) thinks he is insane. Already suspicious of her husband because of supposed infidelities, she suspects him even more.


Aemilia (ee-MIHL-ee-uh), the wife of Aegeon and abbess at Ephesus. In the recognition scene, she finds her husband, who has been separated from her for many years.


Solinus (soh-LI-nuhs), the duke of Ephesus.


Luciana (lew-shee-AH-nuh), Adriana’s sister, wooed by Antipholus of Syracuse.


Angelo, a goldsmith.


Pinch, a schoolmaster and “a hungry lean-fac’d villain, a mere anatomy.”


(Shakespeare for Students)

Duke of Ephesus.

Aegeon (Egeon)
Merchant from Syracuse traveling in Ephesus in search of his son. It is illegal for a Syracusan to travel in Ephesus; he must pay a large ransom or be condemned to death. He tells the Duke of Ephesus his tragic family tale of separation, and the Duke, sympathetic to his plight, gives him one day to gather enough money to free himself.

Antipholus of Ephesus
Twin brother of Antipholus of Syracuse, son of Aegeon and Aemilia, husband of...

(The entire section is 5,761 words.)