From The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature:
"A five-act comedy by William Shakespeare, first performed in 1592-93 and first published in the First Folio of 1623. The play, Shakespeare's shortest, was based on Menaechmi by Plautus. Aegeon, a merchant of Syracuse, is arrested in Ephesus and, unable to pay the local ransom, is condemned to death. He tells the duke, Solinus, his sad tale: years earlier he and his wife had been shipwrecked with their infant sons, identical twins, and a pair of infant slaves, also identical twins. The parents, each with a son and a slave, were rescued but then permanently separated. Antipholus of Syracuse, the son raised by Aegeon, has for five years been seeking his mother and brother, and Aegeon has been seeking him. Aegeon's story wins from Solinus a day's respite to raise the ransom money. Meanwhile, Antipholus of Syracuse and his slave Dromio have arrived in Ephesus, not knowing that his brother Antipholus of Ephesus and his brother's slave, also named Dromio, are already there. A series of misidentifications ensues. Antipholus of Syracuse is entertained by his brother's wife and woos her sister; he receives a gold chain meant for his brother and is chased by a goldsmith for nonpayment. He and his slave hide in a priory, where they observe Aegeon on his way to execution and recognize the priory's abbess as their mother Aemilia. The two separated families are reunited, and Antipholus of Ephesus pays his father's ransom."