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The very same day, his son, Antipholus of Syracuse, and his slave, Dromio, also arrive in the port of Ephesus. However, being warned of the imminent danger to his life, Antipholus pretends to be a merchant from Epidamnum. Egeon's other twin son also happens to be in the same town, for he has been living in Ephesus for twenty years. Antipholus of Ephesus is a rich man, who lives with his wife Adriana and his slave, who is also called Dromio.
Having provided the audience (and the reader) with the knowledge of the history of Antipholus, Shakespeare has given the viewers a position of superiority over the characters of the play, for they are unaware of the true facts. This situation creates added humor and irony in the play as everyone in the town of Ephesus mistake the two Antipholus and the two Dromios for the other.
Antipholus of Ephesus, being popular in town, is always greeted by many people; however, on this particular day, it is his brother, Antipholus of Syracuse whom they greet, having mistaken him for the Antipholus that they know. While Antipholus of Syracuse sends Dromio off to deposit some money at an inn, Dromio of Ephesus comes by and insists that he should come home for dinner, for his mistress awaits him impatiently. At first, Antipholus believes Dromio is jesting, admonishes him, and sends him off with a beating. When Antipholus of Syracuse walks towards the inn, he meets Dromio of Syracuse, who is amazed at what his master says to him; but soon enough, they are both met by Adriana and Luciana and are taken by surprise when called by their names. On Adriana's persistence, they follow her to the Phoenix, where they dine together.
In this manner, confusion begets confusion, until the law, an exorcist, the Abbess, and the Duke are called in to resolve the matter. Each Antipholus has two allies who insist on having dined with him. One is accused of lying about not having received a gold chain while the other wears it around his neck. Antipholus of Ephesus is believed to be possessed, while Antipholus of Syracuse believes that witchcraft is abroad. Both Adriana and the courtesan insist that Antipholus dined with her, and each story is seconded by Luciana. The courtesan asks for her ring from Antipholus of Syracuse, who claims never to have laid eyes upon her. Angelo wants his money for the chain, but Antipholus of Ephesus claims he never took it from him.