As one begins to read this passage, the first aspect that jumps out is the representation of the two main women in the play, Adriana and Luciana. With the first line of the scene, we are able to gain an understanding of both who Adriana is as a person, as well as some of the more personal issues she may be experiencing within her marriage to Antipholus of Ephesus (2.1.1-3). The tone of her voice is not necessarily that of anger, but rather one that is both worried and hurt by the perceived adulterous acts committed by her husband. Shakespeare’s language here was intentional as he desired to portray women in a more realistic manner. In other plays of the period, women were given limited roles and were depicted as very two-dimensional. Here, we not only see women in a larger role, but we also see the raw emotions of a wife who fears that her husband has been unfaithful. Oftentimes in plays, we only see the husband’s side of the affair; Shakespeare is attempting to humanize and legitimize not only Adriana, but all women. By doing so, he is once again acting as a pioneer by moving towards a more accurate representation of women.
Instead of simply giving the realistic version of women, Shakespeare includes Luciana as a way to represent the “old” way of thinking that still dominated his society during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. As we move through the passage, we see Adriana shift her emotions of depression away from her husband and towards her naïve sister. Adriana