The Comedy of Errors: Act 4, Scene 4 - Summary

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Summary

      As E. Antipholus is being led away by the Officer, E. Dromio returns to give him the rope. When E. Antipholus asks about the money he had sent for, E. Dromio declares that he knows nothing about it; E. Antipholus then grows angry and beats E. Dromio. The Officer urges E. Antipholus to calm down, but he continues verbally abusing E. Dromio, who laments that he has long been subject to beatings at the hand of his master.

      As Adriana, Luciana, and the Courtesan arrive with a doctor named Pinch, E. Antipholus continues to beat E. Dromio-providing evidence of E. Antipholus's suspected madness. The women declare that he indeed looks ill, and when Pinch tries to take his pulse, E. Antipholus strikes him. Pinch then attempts to exorcise Satan from E. Antipholus; Antipholus dismisses the man, declares that he is sane, and asks his wife to explain why he had been locked out at dinnertime. Adriana insists tha the dined at home, leaving E. Antipholus and E. Dromio to insist that they had been locked out as well as taunted by the kitchen maid.

      As the women and the doctor begin to wonder if E. Dromio has also been infected with madness, E. Antipholus and Adriana relate their respective roles in the fetching of the money by S. Dromio which E. Dromio knows nothing about. Pinch insists that both men must be mad, and when E. Antipholus threatens to assault Adriana, several men appear to bind E. Antipholus. E. Antipholus pleads with the Officer, who asserts that E. Antipholus is in his charge and cannot be taken by the others. Adriana then offers to go with the Officer to repay the debt, and E. Antipholus and E. Dromio are taken away by the doctor.

      The Officer tells Adriana that the money is owed for a golden chain, which she knows nothing about. The Courtesan then mentions that after E. Antipholus had taken her ring, she met him holding the chain in question. S. Antipholus and S. Dromio suddenly appear with drawn swords, provoking the Officer and the women to flee. S. Antipholus is glad that the witches fear their weapons, and despite S. Dromio's suggestion that they remain in that "gentle nation" after all, S. Antipholus insists that they depart immediately.

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