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Comedy Of Errors, Adrianna/ Marriage

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Marriage: What Can you Posses?

Within the very beginning of the story we see that the characters are placed into a society of which there is seemingly very little value in a persons humanity and kindness, but rather the society into which we first enter is seen as almost materialistic, and even though Egeon, has lost a wife and son, the Duke of Ephesus is only concerned with the money from which he can extract from Egeon. We see here that in order for Egeon to keep his marriage alive he has to pay for his life and so we begin to see the trend of what one can posses in a marriage, instead of love and respect.

We see this act of possessions come through most clearly in the relationship of Adriana and Antipholus of Ephesus. We see that Adriana is jealous of her husbands freedoms when she knows that he married her only because of her wealth, a fact we find out later on in the play, but as she states, "Why should their liberty than ours be more?" (II,10). When Luciana states to her sister, "because their business is out of doors" that only serves to infuriate Adriana even more and retorts that Luciana speaks without experience and that once she is married, she will have a different point of view. As they debate, Dromio of Ephesus returns and reports the bizarre behavior of his master saying that Antipholus is mad and will talk of nothing but his gold. Furious, Adriana is thinking that yes her husband married her for her wealth, but that he should still remain faithful to her as we see saying to the man she believes to be her husband, "And from my false hand cut the wedding-ring, and break it with a deep-divorcing vow?"(II,ii 137) Adriana is using the symbol of what ties her wealth to her husband to ask him to keep faithful because she has brought him wealth that he so desired.

Another incident that is relevant to the city of Ephesus, but more to the point, the sets of twins, and their belief that wealth will bring them everything and fix all their problems, is when we see the slaves and their masters with the exchange of the coins and the way in which they beat their slaves because they do not have the money that was expected, because it is the wrong twin talking to the other master with the money. Unfortunately neither person realizes this and Dromio gets beaten by his master unnecessarily.

Later on the wrong brother is upstairs eating dinner, with Adriana, who is not his wife and Antipholus of Ephesus returns from the marketplace, accompanied by Dromio of Ephesus, Angelo, the goldsmith, and Balthasar, the merchant. When Antipholus of Ephesus knocks at the gate, however, Dromio of Syracuse



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