The Comedy of Errors
Aegeon, a merchant from Syracuse is arrested in Ephesus for violating a law barring travel between the two cities. He tells the Duke that he came to Ephesus seeking his wife (Aemelia) and twin sons (both called Antipholus) and their servants (both called Dromio). They were separated in a shipwreck. Aegeon was rescued with one son and one servant but the other son and his servant were rescued by a different ship. Aegeon never knew what happened to the rest of his family. When Antipholus of Ephesus came of age, he and Dromio went in search of his twin brother. But when they never came home,
Aegeon went out looking for all four of them. The Duke commiserates and gives him one day to pay a ransom or suffer the death penalty.
Unbeknownst to all, the long-lost twins and their mother Adriana have settled in Ephesus, and Antipholus and Dromio of Syracuse have also arrived in Ephesus.
Antipholus S. meets Dromio E. and has words when Dromio takes him to Adriana’s house for dinner. When Antipholus E arrives at his real home for dinner, Adriana locks the doors, believing that her husband is already inside with her. A gold chain that was ordered by Antipholus E is accidentally given to Antipholus S and Antipholus E refuses to pay Angelo, as he doesn’t believe he received it. Angelo has Antipholus E arrested and he asks the Duke for help, as he has been wrongly accused.
Antipholus and Dromio of Syracuse go to the abbey for safety, and when they emerge, find Antipholus and Dromio of Ephesus, as well as Aegeon. The abbess reveals that she is actually Aegeon’s long-lost wife, Aemilia. Aegeon’s ransom is paid, and the family is reunited.
Henry V has been crowned King of England after the death of his father, who usurped the throne from Richard II. Desperate to unite his kingdom, and prove his family’s legitimate claim to both the thrones of England and France, he receives the approval of the church and the peerage to attack France. An insulting gift from the Dauphin furthers his resolve to establish England as the rightful rules of France. Preparing to depart for France, a plot to remove Henry from the throne is discovered and Henry has former friends Cambridge, Scrope and Grey executed as traitors.
In Eastcheap, Bardolph, Pistol and Nym argue over Mistress Quickly’s love, when the Boy brings news of Falstaff’s death, heartbroken after being rejected by Henry. Bardolph, Pistol and Nym head off to join Henry in the wars. Henry and his army siege the French town of Harfleur (“Once more into the breach”) and win a great victory. Pistol and friends try to avoid fighting and the Boy is disgusted with their cowardice. The English army continues its march toward Agincourt. In Paris, Catherine of Valois learns to speak English from her maid, knowing that she will end up marrying Henry. The French lords discuss Henry’s advance but are optimistic about their victory. The French herald Montjoy is sent to Henry to surrender and be ransomed, but he refuses.
The night before the battle, the French enthusiastically discuss their armor, horses and equipment, sure of victory on the morn. The English, severely outnumbered, spend the evening preparing. Henry walks through the English camp in disguise to get the measure of the soldier’s mood. Disguised Henry engages in conversation with Williams, critical of the battle plan, and explicitly stating his opinion that the king will be responsible for the deaths of thousands. Henry and Williams argue, and exchange gloves in order to recognize each other if they ever cross paths again. Henry prays for guidance.
At dawn, the French prepare their armor, and the English realize that they are outnumbered 30 to 1. Fearful of their chances, Henry gives an inspiring speech to rally the troops (St. Crispin’s Day), and the battle begins. Pistol captures a soldier for ransom, and the Duke of York and the Boy die in each other’s arms. Montjoy appears to Henry on the battlefield, and Henry, not yet knowing what the losses are, asks the herald, who acknowledges English victory. Henry and Williams see each other again and Williams realizes it was the king he was arguing with the night before, and asks forgiveness of the king. Henry orders the English to remove their dead and give glory to God.
Marching to Paris to agree to peace terms, Fluellen and Pistol meet on the road and Fluellen forces Pistol to eat a Welsh leek. The English and French meet to negotiate the treaty while Henry woos Catherine. The French acknowledge Henry as the heir the French throne and Henry and Catherine are married.