William Shakespeare 's The Comedy Of Errors

1269 WordsMar 7, 20176 Pages
Shakespearean theater productions continue to express seemingly timeless ideas and concepts to his audiences— from complex, diverse women, to the various plots of each writing piece that has set an example for writers centuries later— readers are still able to infer the intricate themes and attitudes that entwine themselves in his scripts. Like in “The Comedy of Errors,” it presents the contemporary question, “how effectively can family control our actions?” Shakespeare answers this inquiry to an implied, open-ended extent, by revealing that the meaning of the work is, “family may influence our actions, but we, in the end, are the main manipulators of our own actions.” This supports Barthes’ observation, “literature is the question minus…show more content…
Although this is considered normal in the play (to casually beat the slave), there are other actions Adriana commits in response to her husband that seem more extreme. “I starve at home for a merry look” (2.1, 107). For the sake of her husband, Adriana doesn’t eat to maintain a beautiful figure—and this can be inferred as an action resulting from her insecurity that her husband may be seeking company with a courtesan. In Adriana’s case, Antipholus is controlling her with jealousy, and affecting her actions by making her lash out at the slave and on her own appearance. “Since that my beauty cannot please his eye, I’ll weep what’s left away, and weeping die” (2.1, 107). Doesn’t this appear like she’s falling apart, all due to her husband’s not coming home? Shakespeare thus reveals that “family may influence our actions, but we, in the end, are the main manipulators of our own actions” because Adriana restricts her food on her own accord, and she has full jurisdiction over her own actions, like when she is beating Dromio because she is upset. However, is she at fault for feeling how she does? Shakespeare, often evoking emotion in his readers and relying on it to fully impose ideas in his writing, may be implying that Antipholus, and family members in general, inflict control on others merely through emotions that they can’t help feeling. This is certainly true for Adriana, who is recognized by jealous by her sister, and who was provoked to not eat, to beat the
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