Egeon, a merchant from Syracuse, is searching for his son, Antipholus of Syracuse, in Ephesus, where Syracusans are not welcome. If Syracusans can’t pay a fine, they are executed. Egeon explains the tragic tale of how he and his wife were separated in a shipwreck, each with one of their twin sons (both called Antipholus) and one of their son’s servants (also twins, both called Dromio). After his remaining son goes missing while searching for his lost brother, Egeon follows to try to find his family. Solinus, the Duke of Syracuse, takes pity on him and gives Egeon a day to raise the money to save himself.