Quotes

The Comedy of Errors/#1/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “If any Syracusian born come to the bay of Ephesus, he dies.”

Answer: Act 1, Scene 1, Lines 18-19.  Duke to
Egeon.  Egeon, a merchant from Syracuse, searching the world for his son, a twin, who left him five years ago to search the world for his twin brother, has arrived in Ephesus and is immediately arrested. He is led to the Duke of Ephesus who offers this quote. The Duke has told him “I am not partial to infringe our laws” and that “the discord which hath sprung from this rancorous outrage excludes all pity from our threat’ning looks.” Syracuse, in Italy, and Ephesus, in Turkey, have had serious conflicts over commercial trading practices. Egeon has been told that if he can’t come up with more funds than he has, he will be hanged that evening. Egeon responds “Yet this my comfort: my woes end likewise with the evening sun.”

The Comedy of Errors/#2/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “In Syracuse I wed a woman, with her I lived in joy, both happy had not our
luck been bad.”

Answer:  Act 1, Scene 1, Lines 37-39.  Egeon to Duke.  Having arrived in Ephesus that morning, Egeon is condemned to die that night. The Duke asks Egeon to tell him briefly why he left Syracuse and “cam’st to Ephesus.” This quote is near the beginning of Egeon’s response, which is anything but brief.

The Comedy of Errors/#3/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “Almost at fainting under the pleasing punishment that women bear.”

Answer: Act 1, Scene 1, Lines 45-46.  Egeon to
Duke.  Egeon tells the Duke that “our wealth increased by prosperous voyages I often made to Epidamnus.” He tells the Duke that he had been gone from Syracuse for six months and that his very pregnant wife needed his assistance. She joined him in Epidamnus. Egeon offers this quote. He lets the Duke know that “she soon and safe arrived where I was.”

The Comedy of Errors/#4/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “The mast carrying us was splitted in the midst, an unjust divorce of my wife
and me.”

Answer: Act 1, Scene 1, Lines 103-104.  Egeon to Duke.   Egeon tells the Duke that he and his wife were at opposite ends of “a small spare mast,” each “fastened” to a son and one of the “bought male twins,” bobbing in the Adriatic Sea, when the mast hit a rock and broke in two, separating them. They were returning to Syracuse when their sailing ship sank. Egeon and his wife had “bought” a set of twin boys to act as servants to their sons, the parents of the twin boys having been very poor. To now tell of their lives after being separated at sea gives away the story.

The Comedy of Errors/#5/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “Happy were I in my timely death could all my travels warrant me they
live.”

Answer: Act 1, Scene 1, Lines 138-139.  Egeon to Duke.  Egeon has been roaming through Asia for “five summers” looking for his sons. He “came to Ephesus” as he was “coasting homeward.” He’s ready to die happy, he says, if he can just find his sons alive.

The Comedy of Errors/#6/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “I in relationship to the world am like a drop of water that in the ocean seeks
another drop, which, falling there destroys itself.”

Answer: Act 1, Scene 2, Lines 35-36.  Antipholus of Syracuse (AS) to himself. We know AS was separated as a baby from his mother and twin brother. AS is the twin son who as a youth lived with Egeon in Syracuse. We know he is now at least twenty-three. We know he has been traveling widely for at least five years, searching without success for his mother and brother. AS arrived in Ephesus on the same morning his father, Egeon, arrived. A local Merchant in Ephesus has suggested he be “content.” He says I cannot get contentment. He offers this quote. He then says “So I, to find a mother and a brother, in quest of them, unhappy, lose myself.”

The Comedy of Errors/#7/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “She is hot because the meat is cold; the meat is cold because you come not
home.”

Answer: Act 1, Scene 2, Lines 47-48.  Dromio of Ephesus (DE) to Antipholus of Syracuse. Antipholus of Ephesus (AE) is AS’s identical twin brother and resides in Ephesus. DE has been sent by AE’s wife to promptly get her husband home for the meal she’s prepared for him. DE is AE’s servant, who, of course, has an identical twin brother, Dromio of Syracuse (DS), AS’s servant. AS, of course, is mystified when confronted by the upset DE; DE is angry because AE’s wife has blamed him for her husband’s non-appearance. Oh yes. AS had told DS to take his gold to their lodging for safekeeping. So, when DE tells AS that his master’s wife is real upset with him, AS keeps asking DE about the gold. Keeping track of the players is no easy task.

The Comedy of Errors/#8/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “A man is master of his liberty; time is their master, and when they see time
they’ll go or come.”

Answer: Act 2, Scene 1, Lines 7-9.
Luciana to Adriana.  Adriana has said “Neither my husband nor the slave returned. Luciana, it is two o’clock.” Luciana is Adriana sister, and she is single. So is AS. AE was to be home at noon. Luciana calmly replies “Good sister, let us dine, and never fret.” Luciana then offers this quote. Adriana replies “Why should their liberty than ours be more?”

The Comedy of Errors/#9/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “His company must do his darlings grace, whilst I at home starve for a merry
look.”

Answer: Act 2, Scene 1, Lines 92-93.  Adriana to Luciana.  Losing confidence in herself, Adriana offers her sister this quote. She goes on to say “Hath homely age the alluring beauty took from my poor cheek? Are my conversations dull; barren my wit? If fluent and keen-witted discourse be marred, unkindness blunts it more than marble hard.” Adriana, worried about younger women paying attention to her husband, goes on to ask her sister “Do their bright and showy dresses his passions tempt?”

The Comedy of Errors/#10/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “What ruins are in me that can be found by him not ruined?”

Answer: Act 2, Scene 1, Lines 102-104.  Adriana to Luciana.  Referring to her husband, Adriana says to her sister “He’s master of my life’s conditions. My decayed beauty a sunny look of his would soon repair. Like unruly deer, he breaks the fence and feeds from home.”