Dromio of Ephesus
The personal servant of Antipholus of Ephesus, and the twin brother of Dromio of Syracuse, E. Dromio tries to persuade S. Antipholus to join Adriana for dinner and receives a brief beating for his trouble. In the course of the play, E. Dromio relates this incident to Adriana he orders S. Dromio to let E. Antipholus into his home, without success, and he fetches a rope for E. Antipholus after their dinner at the Courtesan’s. When E. Dromio brings E. Antipholus the rope but no bail money (which S. Dromio had gone to fetch), E. Antipholus likewise beats him, leading E. Dromio to lament his lot in life. E. Dromio is betrothed to Luce, Adriana’s kitchen servant, which leads to additional confusion for S. Dromio. Along with his twin brother, E. Dromio largely serves as a means by which the play’s action moves along, with his constant running of errands for the brothers Antipholus. Also, E. Dromio functions as a servile, humble foil to E. Antipholus and his masterly arrogance.
Dromio of Syracuse
Also known as S. Dromio, he is the personal servant of Antipholus of Syracuse, and the twin brother of Dromio of Ephesus. S. Dromio takes his master’s money to the inn at which they are staying, the Centaur, then gets beaten when S. Antipholus believes that he had pretended to know nothing about the money. Both Syracusians later go to Adriana’s for dinner, with S. Dromio refusing entry to E. Antipholus and E. Dromio. When S. Dromio finds that Luce believes him to be betrothed to her, he complains to S. Antipholus, making many insulting remarks about Luce’s size. S. Dromio then waits by the harbor for a departing ship; when he returns, he accidentally tells E. Antipholus about their nearing departure, and E. Antipholus sends him to fetch money from Adriana. He fetches the money, then brings it to S. Antipholus. When the two are met by the Courtesan, they grow convinced that the town is inhabited by witches and flee. They later draw their swords against Adriana and company and ultimately take refuge in the Priory. After they exit and resolve the confusion, S. Dromio and E. Dromio share a brotherly moment. Generally speaking, S. Dromio not only pushes the play’s action along, as does his twin, but also provides more comical responses to the strange goings-on than does S. Antipholus. This role is highlighted by his long discourse regarding the physical stature of Luce, who mistakes him for her betrothed, and by comments such as those punningly referring to the Courtesan as a ‘‘light wench.’’
Shakespeare for Students:Critical Interpretations of Shakespeare’s Plays & Poetry, Second Edition, Volume 1, authored by Anne Marie Hacht & Cynthia Burnstein, published by Thomson-Gale, 2007