A scene for 2 characters from the play "The Comedy of Errors" by William Shakespeare

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About this Monologue

  • Characters: Antipholus of Syracuse?Dromio of Syracuse???
  • Scene type / Who are: Colleagues, Having an argument
  • Type: Comic
  • Period: Renaissance
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Description: Antipholus of Syracuse beats up his servant
  • Location: ACT II, Scene 2

Summary

The story is set in Ephesus. Aegeon, a merchant from Syracuse is facing execution for having broken a rule between the two rival cities, that is if anybody from a rival city is caught there then they have to pay a ransom to avoid being executed. He is led to his execution by Solinus, the Duke of Ephesus. Aegeon tells him that he is traveling in Ephesus because he is actually looking for his long lost son, one of his two twin brothers that were separated 25 yeas before because of a storm. His slave's twin sons were also separated and one of them ended up with his wife and other twin son.

Antipholus of Syracuse, ...

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Excerpt

[SCENE II. A public place.]

[Enter ANTIPHOLUS of Syracuse]

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
The gold I gave to Dromio is laid up
Safe at the Centaur; and the heedful slave
Is wander'd forth, in care to seek me out
By computation and mine host's report.
I could not speak with Dromio since at first
I sent him from the mart. See, here he comes.

[Enter DROMIO of Syracuse]

How now sir! is your merry humour alter'd?
As you love strokes, so jest with me again.
You know no Centaur? you received no gold?
Your mistress sent to have me home to dinner?
My house was at the Phoenix? Wast thou mad,
That thus so madly thou didst answer me?

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
What answer, sir? when spake I such a word?

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
Even now, even here, not half an hour since.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
I did not see you since you sent me hence,
Home to the Centaur, with the gold you gave me.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
Villain, thou didst deny the gold's receipt,
And told'st me of a mistress and a dinner;
For which, I hope, thou felt'st I was displeased.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
I am glad to see you in this merry vein:
What means this jest? I pray you, master, tell me.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
Yea, dost thou jeer and flout me in the teeth?
Think'st thou I jest? Hold, take thou that, and that.
Beating him

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
Hold, sir, for God's sake! now your jest is earnest:
Upon what bargain do you give it me?

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
Because that I familiarly sometimes
Do use you for my fool and chat with you,
Your sauciness will jest upon my love
And make a common of my serious hours.
When the sun shines let foolish gnats make sport,
But creep in crannies when he hides his beams.
If you will jest with me, know my aspect,
And fashion your demeanor to my looks,
Or I will beat this method in your sconce.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
Sconce call you it? so you would leave battering, I
had rather have it a head: an you use these blows
long, I must get a sconce for my head and ensconce
it too; or else I shall seek my wit in my shoulders.
But, I pray, sir why am I beaten?

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
Dost thou not know?

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
Nothing, sir, but that I am beaten.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
Shall I tell you why?

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
Ay, sir, and wherefore; for they say every why hath
a wherefore.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
Why, first,--for flouting me; and then, wherefore--
For urging it the second time to me.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
Was there ever any man thus beaten out of season,
When in the why and the wherefore is neither rhyme
nor reason?
Well, sir, I thank you.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
Thank me, sir, for what?

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
Marry, sir, for this something that you gave me for nothing.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
I'll make you amends next, to give you nothing for
something. But say, sir, is it dinner-time?

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
No, sir; I think the meat wants that I have.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
In good time, sir; what's that?

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
Basting.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
Well, sir, then 'twill be dry.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
If it be, sir, I pray you, eat none of it.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
Your reason?

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
Lest it make you choleric and purchase me another
dry basting.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
Well, sir, learn to jest in good time: there's a
time for all things.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
I durst have denied that, before you were so choleric.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
By what rule, sir?

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
Marry, sir, by a rule as plain as the plain bald
pate of father Time himself.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
Let's hear it.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
There's no time for a man to recover his hair that
grows bald by nature.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
May he not do it by fine and recovery?

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
Yes, to pay a fine for a periwig and recover the
lost hair of another man.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
Why is Time such a niggard of hair, being, as it is,
so plentiful an excrement?

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
Because it is a blessing that he bestows on beasts;
and what he hath scanted men in hair he hath given them in wit.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
Why, but there's many a man hath more hair than wit.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
Not a man of those but he hath the wit to lose his hair.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
Why, thou didst conclude hairy men plain dealers without wit.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
The plainer dealer, the sooner lost: yet he loseth
it in a kind of jollity.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
For what reason?

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
For two; and sound ones too.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
Nay, not sound, I pray you.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
Sure ones, then.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
Nay, not sure, in a thing falsing.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
Certain ones then.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
Name them.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
The one, to save the money that he spends in
trimming; the other, that at dinner they should not
drop in his porridge.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
You would all this time have proved there is no
time for all things.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
Marry, and did, sir; namely, no time to recover hair
lost by nature.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
But your reason was not substantial, why there is no
time to recover.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
Thus I mend it: Time himself is bald and therefore
to the world's end will have bald followers.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
I knew 'twould be a bald conclusion:
But, soft! who wafts us yonder?



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