?The Comedy Of Errors? Essay, Research Paper
The Shakespeare play that I did was ?The Comedy of Errors?. The Comedy of Errors was one of Shakespeare?s earliest works. The play was first performed at Gray?s Inn on December 28, 1594. The Comedy was very popular. In 1938, a musical adaptation of the play was known as The Boys from Syracuse. Of course the author of this play is William Shakespeare. The theme in this play is a romance along with comedic performances also in it.
Many years ago Egeon a merchant of Syracuse was in a shipwreck in which he was separated from some of his family. His wife, Emilia, from one of his twin sons, then Antipholus of Ephesus, and the son?s slave Dromio of Ephesus. With Egeon, were the slave?s twin Dromio of Syracuse and Egon?s remaining son Antipholus of Syracuse. When Antipholus of Syracuse was old enough he set out to find his missing brother. Years after that Egeon then went and looked for his remaining son, and then the play begins.
When the play begins Egeon is captured by Duke Solinus in the hostile city of Ephesus. Egeon is going to be sentenced to death right away, until he tells Solinus his story and he feels bad for him so he puts his death off until nightfall. However Egeon must come up with a ransom of thousand marks.
Antipholus of Syracuse arrives with his slave in Ephesus, where Antipholu?s twin brother, his wife Adariana and their twin slave live. Antipholus of Syracuse abuses Dromio of Ephesus because he was nagging him to go out to dinner. Adriana locks her real husband out of the house because she mistakes the Syracusan twin for the Ephesian. The other Dromio is going to be beaten because he ordered a gold chain to his brother s house and refuses to pay it. He ends up getting arrested for it. Meanwhile Antipholus of Ephesus demands that his father, Egeon has his death sentenced dropped. However the Duke does not agree. In the end the Syracusan twins come from an abbey where they had been taken refuge, and all the problems are resolved. The Abbess, who turns out to be Egeons long lost wife Emilia invites all of them at the end to discuss this ?one day?s error? and ?make full satisfaction?.
Solinus, Duke of Ephesus- Man who sentenced Egeon to death.
Egeon, Merchant of Syracuse- Lost his family in a shipwreck. Also he is sentenced to death by the Duke of Ephesus.
Antipholus of Ephesus- One of Egeon lost sons. His wife seems like she wants to drive him mad.
Antipholus of Syracuse- The second of Egeons lost sons.
The two Dromios- Slaves to the twin Antipholus. They both look exactly alike, and both take beatings by their master.
Adriana- Wife of Antipholus of Ephesus.
Emilia- Long lost wife of Egeon, and also becomes an Abbess at Ephesus. At the end of the story she invites the entire cast over her house for a party and to talk about the day?s events.
Angelo- An Ephesian goldsmith who delivers the gold chain to one of the Dromio twins which lead to problems.
Doctor Pinch- A wacky proto-psychiartrist called ?school-master?. He is the only one who is not allowed to go to Emilia?s party at the end.
Luciana- Adriana?s sister.
Balthazar- A merchant.
Luce- Adriana?s servant.
Act 1-Scene 1
The cities of Syracuse and Ephesus do not get along. Egeon has been captured and sentenced to death by the Duke of Ephesus. Egeon tells the Duke about his story of how is family and him were separated and the Duke gives him till night before he is killed.
Along with his wife, twin sons who are both named Antipholus and twin slaves both named Dromio all were in the same shipwreck years ago. The one son survived with the father and the others with the mother. None of people knew were each other were. When Antipholus of Syracuse turned eighteen he set out to find his brother. Egeon became worried and set out to find Antipholus, but could not find him, and that is how he ended up in Ephesus.
Act 1-Scene 2
Antipholus of Syracuse, who is now called Antipholus of S. leaves the merchant and gives his servant a 1,000 marks to take to their house for safe- keeping. Antipholus of S. talks about ?losing him self? many times during this act. Dromio of E. invites Antipholus of S. over for dinner because he thought that he was Antipholus of E and for ?the clock hath strucken twelve? and ?your worship?s wife? has been kept waiting. Antipholus beats up the fake Dromio, which is Dromio of E. and as he runs off Antipholus realizes that he has been cheated out of 1,000 marks.
Act 2- Scene 1
Antipholus of E and her sister argue over the right conduct in marriage. Dromio interrupts their conversation because he is complaining that he and his master are fighting over the demand of the ?nonexistent? thousand marks. Dromio reads his servant report, which leads him and Adriana to get into an argument.
Act 2- Scene 2
When Antipholus of S. sees Dromio of S. he beats him for no reason. Adriana and Luciana enter thinking that the Syracusan Antipholus is the Ephesian. Adriana gives along speech about her ?husband?, and Antipholus of S. explains that he has only been in Ephesus for two hours and does not know who Adriana is. At the end of the scene the two masters go to dinner with Luciana.
Act 3- Scene 1
Antipholus of Ephesus, together with his servant, a goldsmith and the merchant try to get into his house, but are denied.
Act 3 Scene 2
Luciana tells Antipholus of S. to be kind to his ?wife? even if he doesn?t want to. He then tells Luciana that he is in love with Adriana. Dromio of S. comes in and tells Antipholus of S. that he is also having female problems. Master and servant believe that witchcraft is involved.
Angelo the goldsmith delivers a gold chain to Antipholus of S., in which he refuses to pay for, and says, ?they can settle later?.
Act 4- Scene 1
A merchant who wants to go on a business trip asks Angelo to pay a debt he owes, but he can?t because Antipholus owes him the money for the gold chain. Antipholus of E. was the one who had ordered the chain, but Antipholus of S. was the one who took the chain. Angelo and Antipholus of E. are both arrested. Dromio of S books a trip for him and Antipholus of E; this makes the characters even more suspicious of Dromio of S.
Act 4- Scene 2
Luciana tells Adriana that Antipholus has been acting strange toward her. Adriana talks really bad about him, but admits that she really cares about him. Dromio of S. begs Adriana for bail money for his master and she gives it to him.
Act 4- Scene 3
Antipholus of S. talks about all the crazy things that have happened so far in the day. Dromio of S. comes in with the bail money for his master. Antipholus of S. does not understand what is going on because he does not even know that he is supposed to be in jail. The reason for that in that Antipholus of E. was arrested for his crime. A courtesan arrives asking for a gold chain in exchange for a ring in which she claims to have given Antipholus. The courtesan concludes that he must be mad and decides to tell his wife that he had stolen it by force.
Act 4- Scene 4
Antipholus of E. is told by Dromio of E that he had fetched a flogging rope and is whipped with it by Antipholus. He is whipped with it because he has no memory of being asked to fetch five hundred ducats bail money. Doctor Pinch orders Antipholus of E. and Luciana to be treated for insanity.
Act 5-Scene 1
As Angelo the goldsmith and another merchant talks about how Antipholus of S. has the gold chain he walks in. The two merchants describe him as a ?villain?. Angelo wants to fight Antipholus in a sword fight to secure his honor. Meanwhile Egeon is going to be headed. Adriana is saying to let her insane husband be free, and he is let go. He says that ?Egeon is a senile and sorrow crazed old man?.
Three sources of criticisms of the play Comedy of Errors are:
A Companion to Shakespeare Studies
A New Companion to Shakespeare Studies
William Shakespeare Comedies and Romances
Each book gave a negative criticism of the play; and I agree with them.
The first book said that the play seemed experimental and needed work. The second book said that it was derivative and rather limited in range. The final source said that the play was long and confusing which made many people restless and they left.
The play ?Comedy of Errors? was by far something to enjoy. The play was so confusing and was not one bit funny. The more the story went on, the more confusing it got. Notes on the play even said that the story was very confusing and did not make very much sense. The plot of the play was a stupid one to begin with. There is not really much to conclude about the play other than it was very confusing. The criticisms about the play were the same as the way I thought the play went.
Harrison G.B. A Companion to Shakespeare Studies. New York,1972
Harold Bloom William Shakespeare Comedies and Romances.
New York, 1975