In the city of Siracusa lived a merchant, and he had two twin boys, like two drops of water. The merchant drove out of the sea and took with him one of the boys – named Menechm. There was a holiday, the boy was lost in the crowd; he was picked up by another merchant – from the city of Epidamn, took to his place, adopted, and then found his wife and left all his fortune. The second boy remained in Syracuse; in memory of the missing, he was renamed and also named Menechm. He grew up, went in search of his brother, traveled to all the cities for a long time, and finally got to Epidamn. Here two twins, Menhm Epidamnsky and Menechm Syracuse, collided, and it is clear that many confusions and misunderstandings ensued. Confusion is when Menechma of Epidamn is mistaken for Menechma of Syracuse or vice versa; a misunderstanding is when Menechma of the Epidemic is mistaken for Menechma of Epidamn,
On the stage – the city of Epidamn, there are two houses, in one – the wife of Menechma Epidamn, in the other – the hetaera, his mistress. To the spectators there is a freeloader Menehma Epidamnsky named Canteen Brush – because you put him at the table, he will not leave a crumb, He praises his master: he lives freely, he likes food and treats others. So the master himself leaves the house, abusing his jealous wife; He pulled off her new cloak and carries it as a gift to her mistress. She is happy with the gift and in gratitude orders a dinner for
Menehm Epidamsky with the spongy go to the square on business, and from the pier is with his slave Menechm Syracuse, who came to look for his brother. Of course, both the cook and the hetaera think that this is Menech Epidamn, and they cheer him up cheerfully: this is the first confusion. “Listen,” says the hetaera, “take this stolen cloak to perelitsovku, so that his wife does not recognize me!” Menech Syracuse is afraid that he had nothing to do with it, and he did not steal his wife’s coat, and he does not have a wife, and in general he is here for the first time. But, seeing that a woman can not be persuaded, and the cloak can perhaps be appropriated, he decides to have dinner with a beauty and play along with her: “I was joking, of course, I am your darling.” They leave to feast, and slave Menechm sends to the tavern.
Then there is a shattered Brush: he is sure that this is his breadwinner treated without him, and is pestered at Menechma Syracuse with reproaches. This is the second confusion. He does not understand anything and drives him away. The insulted freeloader goes to tell all about the master’s wife. She’s furious; both sit down to wait for the culprit. And Menehm Epidamnsky, here, is already here: he returns from the square of the wicked, cursing himself for being entangled there as a witness in a court case and therefore did not get a chance to get a feast for a hetaera. The wife and the parasite attack him with reproaches, the wife for the stolen cloak, the parasite for the dinner eaten without him. This is the first misunderstanding. He fights off, but his wife says: “I will not let you into the threshold until you bring me back my cloak!” – and slams the door. “It was not painful, I wanted to!” – the husband grumbles and resolutely goes to the hetaera – for consolation and for a cloak. But here he runs into trouble. “What are you talking nonsense, you yourself took the cloak in perelitsovku, do not fool me!” the hetaera cries to him. This is the second misunderstanding. She also slammed the door in front of him; and Menehm Epidamnsky leaves where the eyes look.
In the meantime, Menechm Syracuse with a cloak in his hands, not finding his slave in the tavern, comes back in confusion. The wife of Menehm Epidamnsky takes him for a repentant husband, but for the order he still grumbles at him. This is the third confusion. Menechm Syracuse does not understand anything, the quarrel begins, everything is fiercer and fiercer; a woman is calling to help her father. The old man well knows his daughter – “from such a grumpy wife, anyone will get a mistress!” But stealing from his wife is too much, and he too begins to warn the imaginary son-in-law. This is the fourth confusion. Has he gone crazy, that he does not recognize his own? The ingenious Menechm really pretends to be insane – and, like Orestes in tragedy, he starts shouting: “I hear, I hear a voice from God!” He tells me: take a torch, burn it, burn it out! .. “The woman hides in the house, the old man runs after the doctor,
Returns Menech Epidamnsky, and meet him – father-in-law and a doctor with reproaches for the raging scene of rabies: this is the third misunderstanding. Menechm responds with a curse. “Yes, he really is violent!” – exclaims the doctor and calls for help four stout slaves. Menehm barely fights off them, when suddenly there is an unexpected help. Slave Menechma of Syracuse, without waiting for his master in the tavern, went to look for him, otherwise he would get involved in trouble forever without supervision! Trouble is obvious: here some guys in the middle of the day are knitting their right host! This is the fifth confusion. The slave rushes forward to the imaginary master, together they scatter and disperse the rapists; in gratitude the slave asks him to let him go free. Letting go of the slave of another’s servant Menhmu Epidamnsky is worthless: “Go, I do not hold you!”
The slave, delighted, rushes to the tavern to collect his belongings and immediately encounters his real master, Menechm Syracuse, who did not even think of letting him go. Beginning skirmishes and reproaches. This is the fourth misunderstanding. While they are in a quarrel, a similar quarrel is heard from the house of the hetaera, and Menhm Epidamnsky appears on the threshold after another failure. Then at last both brothers collide face to face on the stage. The slave is perplexed: who is his master? This is the sixth, and last, confusion. Beginning to find out: both – Menechma, both – come from Syracuse, and the father is the same… True triumphs, the slave is finally given freedom, Menhm Epidamnsky joyfully prepares to move to his homeland, his brother, to Syracuse, and the slave announces to the public that on the occasion of departure all good is sold: house, land, utensils, servants “