Shakespeare;s The Comedy of Errors: An Interpretive Essay
Over the weekend, I attended a high school one-act play competition to see the high school I graduated from in their presentation of Act IV ofShakespeare;s ;The Comedy of Errors.;I didn;t know what to expect, having never read or seen the play, but I was excited because Shakespeare is always entertaining when performed well.The cast was excellent and they did a truly professional-quality job on this play.I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I actually could understand what was going on!
To begin with, this play;s format was linear because it went in a sequential order through time.It was definitely a comedy, using highly confusing situations like two pairs of twin brothers.The point of attack is right at the very beginning,with Egeon being led to his execution.This early point of attack makes this play episodic.Egeon is a merchant who isbeing killed for trying to travel to a rival city.We find out that he is looking for his wife and one of his twin sons.When he explains this,he is allowed to have one day to try and get enough money to bail himself out of his impending death.
The other twin, Antipholus of Syracuse, and his slave, Dromio, happen to be visiting the same town that the missing twin, Antipholus of Ephesus, lives in.Antipholus of Ephesus; wife, Adriana, mistakes Antipholus of Syracuse for her husband and brings he and Dromio of Syracuse (his guard) back home with her.Antipholus then falls in love with Adriana;s sister, Luciana.She, however, thinks he is just weird.He doesn;t seem anything like the Antipholus of Ephesus she knows at all.
The major conflict begins when a gold chain that was ordered by Antipholous of Ephesus is given to Antipholous ofSyracuse.Ephesus refuses to pay for it since he never received it.Everyone thinks he is crazy and he is arrested and sent to jail.