Comedy of Errors (Theme)

883 WordsFeb 23, 20124 Pages
“The Comedy of Errors” Plato states that: “The measure of a man is what he does with his power.” But is this true? Or does it depend on a person’s money and possessions? Perhaps it is the family they were born into, or even their gender. And how can reputation affect your class standing? In “The Comedy of Errors” William Shakespeare explores the interplay of these various possibilities that can determine a person’s class. Shakespeare shows us that a persons family can determine their social status. As well as affect how they are treated. Taking for example the twin Dromios, they came from an extremely poor family. “A mean woman was deliverèd / Of such a burden, male twins, both alike.” (Ⅰ.Ⅰ.54) Because their mother was so poor they…show more content…
However if their reputation gets tarnished they will lose their money and in consequence their power: If by strong hand you offer to break in Now in the stirring passage of the day, A vulgar comment will be made of it; And that supposèd by the common rout Against your yet ungallèd estimation. (III.I.47) Looking at this quote it is clear that if Antipholus goes through with his threat, his reputation will be tarnished. Therefore he decides against it. “ You have prevailed. I will depart in quiet / And, in despite of mirth, mean to be merry.” (III.I.156) An additional example is Solinus the duke of Ephesus. When he is ready to execute Egeon he uses the power he has to grant him one day of freedom. Duke: Now trust me, were it not against our laws, Against my crown, my oath, my dignity, My soul should sue as advocate for thee. But thou art adjudgèd to the death, Yet will I favor thee in what I can. therefore, merchant, I’ll limit thee this day. By giving Egeon a day of freedom the duke boosts his reputation in Ephesus as a sympathetic and selfless leader. All the while knowing that there is no way Egeon will accomplish his goal. The third and perhaps most prominent way of defining a person’s social standing is their gender. A factor that is still entrenched in our modern society. In “The Comedy of Errors” there are many obligations women have to fill that men do not. For example as Egeon is telling the duke his tragic
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