Romance in Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors

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Comedy of Errors - Romance

What is so interesting about Shakespeare's first play, The Comedy of Errors, are the elements it shares with his last plays. The romances of his final period (Pericles, Cymbeline, The Winter's Tale, The Tempest) all borrowed from the romantic tradition, particularly the Plautine romances. So here, as in the later plays, we have reunions of lost children and parents, husbands and wives; we have adventures and wanderings, and the danger of death (which in this play is not as real to us as it is in the romances). Yet, for all these similarities, the plot of The Comedy of Errors is as simple as the plots of the later plays are complex. It is as though Shakespeare's odyssey through the human psyche in tragedy and comedy brought him back to his beginnings with a sharper sense of yearning, poignancy, and the feeling of loss. But to dismiss this play as merely a simplistic romp through a complicated set of maneuvers is to miss the pure theatrical feast it offers on the stage - the wit and humor of a master wordsmith, the improbability of a plot that sweeps...
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