Act 1, Scene 1
Egeon, a merchant of Syracuse, has been apprehended in Ephesus. The lands of Syracuse and Ephesus has been at war and it is now law in Ephesus that if a Syracusan comes to their land, they must either pay a thousand marks or be put to death. Egeon doesn’t have thousand marks and so is sentenced to die, however, he tells the Duke of Ephesus that he is ready to die because it would end his woes. The Duke, curious about Egeon’s comment, asks him why he is so sad. Egeon tells the story about being in a shipwreck with his wife, Emilia, his twin sons, and the son’s servants. The storm separated the family and left Egeon with one son and one servant (Antipholus of Syracuse and Dromio of Syracuse), and his wife got swept away with the other pair (Antipholus of Ephesus and Dromio of Ephesus). Antipholus of Syracuse felt called to travel the world in search of his brother and mother, and so Egeon has been separated from his son for seven years.
The Duke takes pity of Egeon and
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