Antipholus of Ephesus was brought up in Corinth, never knowing his father, and brought to Ephesus by Duke Menaphon of Corinth.
Duke Solinus of Ephesus, Menaphon’s nephew, became his patron, and he served worthily in his wars. The Duke arranged for his marriage to a wealthy lady, Adriana, and he became one of the richest and best-known merchants in Ephesus, known for his honor and good credit. His marriage is not entirely a success, though: he spends a great deal of time with a Courtesan, often dining with her, though he insists that he’s not up to anything illicit with her. His wife chides him endlessly for this, and this merely drives him further from her. He is not prepared, however, to return home to find his own door locked against him and his wife denying him entry. Enraged, he is only barely prevented from knocking down his own door, and decides to give an expensive necklace he commissioned for his wife to the courtesan instead. Meeting the goldsmith Angelo after lunch, he is confused to be told that he has already received the necklace, and to find himself arrested for non-payment. Soon finding himself also declared mad and possessed, he is incapable of resisting when he is tied up and thrust into a dark room, but he chews his way through the ropes binding him and escapes, tormenting the exorcist Dr. Pinch by setting his beard on fire before finding the Duke to call for justice against his wife, whom he is certain is at the base of all his ills. Finding himself called ‘son’ by an old man about to be executed, he is even further discombobulated, but it is soon revealed that he has a twin brother who’s been taken for him all day, that the local Abbess is his mother and the old man his father. He immediately offers to pay Egeon’s ransom, but the Duke rejects the need for it. He is a choleric man, much given to beating his slave Dromio of Ephesus.