Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors

913 Words 4 Pages
Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors

Comedy of Errors is one of Shakespeare’s first plays. The minor characters, in the play, Egeon and the Duke, set up the framework of the play. Egeon, at the request of the Duke, describes his adventures and relates his life story. This provides the history of The Comedy of Errors, and helps keep track of the confusion, which unfolds during the play.

There are several themes that Shakespeare uses which are only loosely related to the actual comedy. The conflicts between burden and freedom, rule and compassion, loss and rebirth all form a critical undertone within the play. There is also the serious effect time. Shakespeare requires that all the action end at five o'clock, the time of Egeon's execution,
…show more content…
The Duke also stands to increase possible return by sentencing Egeon to death. His pardon of Egeon at the end of the play is supposed to indicate that he has not only learned to pardon, but has overcome his selfishness by having him turn down the ransom which Antipholus offers.

The play also centers on chance or coincidence. This actually relates to the title, since Error comes from the Latin word translating to wander. The play is really about wandering, and characters trying to find their true identities.

Another theme prominent throughout the play is in the phrase, “drop of water." Antipholus first uses the phrase to describe himself, since he views himself as a drop of water, which is trying to find another drop in the vast ocean of mankind. In this case he is referring to his search for his lost brother and father. Later, Adriana uses the same language when referring to her husband, and compares their division similar to separating water. The phrase stands for a joining of two people, and implies an intimate bond. The use of twins in The Comedy of Errors is not necessarily essentially entertaining.

A further theme that is constantly appearing in the play is that of repression versus freedom. Beginning with the first scene, Egeon is bound and sentenced; the theory of binding people is made obvious. It continues with Adriana, who asks her sister why men have more freedom than their wives. This finishes in the end scenes where
Open Document