Essay PreviewMore ↓
Comedy of Errors - Family and Marriage
Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors is a madcap romp of mistakes and misadventures, wrapping together two Plautine comedies sauced with Scripture and Renaissance poetry. Yet the tangled web of estranged family that Shakespeare weaves holds significant differences from any of his originals, pointing to ideas about family and marriage that Shakespeare no doubt held, and was to develop further in later works.
Plautus' Menaechmi yields a basic framework for Shakespeare's plot: two long-separated brothers mistaken for one another. Yet Plautus' two brothers differ markedly in attitude: one is "gay, generous, and fun-loving," the other "shrewd, calculating, and cynical" (Kinko, p. 10). Shakespeare's Antipholi seem as confused as their Menaechmi relations, but more interchangeable in general temperament. Plautus' Amphitryon provides the idea of doubling servants as well as masters, but these are duplicates by divine action: one set are disguised gods fully aware of the situation, the other confused mortals. So why the device of like-behaving mortal twins? Perhaps it is in the family members Shakespeare adds -- Egeon, Aemilia, Luciana -- that we discover the motives for his adaptations.
One of the main themes of Shakespearean comedy is that of the new community: thus the stereotypical round of marriages that is a given for almost any comic Act V. Here we have only one new marriage, between (Syracusan) Antipholus Erotes and Luciana, the restoration of happiness to (Ephesian) Antipholus Sereptus and formerly shrewish Adriana, and the renewal of Egeon and Aemilia's long-sundered wedding bonds (taken and developed from Gower's Confessio Amantis). But the characters begin the play almost wholly sundered from community: Egeon has long lost both wife and half his progeny, and abandoned his known son for a seven years' search; Antipholus Erotes seems blithely unaware of his father's presence in town, so complete is their separation; even Antipholus Sereptus is estranged from his wife Adriana, not enjoying the fruitful state of marriage that must be the lot of comic characters. They are all awash in a capitalist society of business and bonds, with little room for generosity but much for the Officer, debtors' prison, and harsh laws against Syracusan foreigners that even the Duke cannot overturn.
Here St. Paul enters the fray, with the prescriptions of his Epistle to the Ephesians (!): "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
How to Cite this Page
"Family and Marriage in Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors." 123HelpMe.com. 29 Mar 2020
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Farce and Satire in The Comedy of Errors All is not as it seems in The Comedy of Errors. Some have the notion that The Comedy of Errors is a classical and relatively un-Shakespearean play. The plot is, in fact, based largely on Plautus's Menaechmi, a light-hearted comedy in which twins are mistaken for each other. Shakespeare's addition of twin servants is borrowed from Amphitruo, another play by Plautus. Like its classical predecessors, The Comedy of Errors mixes farce and satire and (to a degree) presents us with stock characters.... [tags: Shakespeare Comedy of Errors Essays]
1157 words (3.3 pages)
- William Shakespeare was a very talented man known for his various works of literature. His works include poems, plays, and sonnets. His works are then broken down into tragedies, comedies, and histories. Shakespeare left this world centuries ago, but his writings continue to live throughout the world today. He has greatly impacted the world of literature and his existence will forever be remembered. In 1564, William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon (Hazell 32). It seems that Shakespeare’s career began around the year 1592.... [tags: Shakespeare]
1269 words (3.6 pages)
- William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew as a Comedy 'The Taming of the Shrew', written by William Shakespeare between 1589 and 1594, is a romantic comedy set in the Italian city of Padua. Since the play was written, the audience's idea of comedy has changed quite dramatically. In the fifteen hundreds, an audience would have enjoyed obvious, visual aspects of comedy such as we would see in a modern-day pantomime, whereas an audience watching the play today would also enjoy less obvious aspects such as sarcasm, irony and dry humour.... [tags: Papers]
2460 words (7 pages)
- William Shakespeare’s Hamlet is a tragic story that captures the audience’s emotions. The story wraps around the protagonist, Hamlet, whom finds out his father has been murdered by his uncle. Filled with hostility, Hamlet tries to organize a plan to seek his revenge. His hunger for vengeance only grows stronger as Hamlet experiences treachery, despair, sorrow, and animosity. The famous play by William Shakespeare portrays absolute and fabricated madness—from the overbearing grief to complete mania—and delves into the themes of sarcasm, suicide, and procrastination.... [tags: classic, shakespeare]
1183 words (3.4 pages)
- Much Ado About Nothing is a film version of a play written by the famous William Shakespeare. A romantic comedy filled from beginning to end with witty banter, and romance. The film was one that was well cast, and well directed to make it even more successful. The genre of this specific film is a very obvious one which is made clear throughout the length of it. It is most definitely of the comedy type, which was Shakespeare’s purpose from the beginning. The comedy ranges from the amount of shared insults, to the large array of jokes made throughout.... [tags: Marriage, William Shakespeare, Love, Character]
843 words (2.4 pages)
- Negative Criticism for The Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare 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.... [tags: Papers]
1138 words (3.3 pages)
- Amanda Phakonekham Kennedy York 8 November 2014 Theatre Appreciation 10 Shakespeare Research Paper Mainly referred as the Bard of Avon, William Shakespeare was an exquisite English writer whose works have altered the course of European and World literature. Shakespeare’s works have influenced many writers and philosophers all around the world. Despite his influence, Shakespeare’s personal life and his role in the creations were questioned. How could a man, who seemed so simple, create such work that would affect the world of literature.... [tags: William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet]
1036 words (3 pages)
- William Shakespeare is widely considered to be one of the greatest playwrights of all time. Shakespeare`s work is commonly used as a springboard for English literary analysis classes and papers, and many of his plays are household titles, such as Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, and Macbeth. Shakespeare`s life, outside of writing, greatly shaped the moods and themes in his plays, the most important of which was his relationship with the women in his life. These events, including the tragedy of losing his sisters during his youth and his own marriage to a woman 8 years older than him as a teenager, greatly influenced his play The Tempest, and shaped his obsession with youth love and disregard for th... [tags: Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare, First Folio]
1800 words (5.1 pages)
- Much Ado about Nothing, though interspersed with dark moments, is a comedy that ends with the expectation of multiple marriages. Shakespeare 's comedies usually explore the themes of love and marriage. The common characteristics of his plays include rural settings, mistaken identity and disguises, complex plots, disputes within characters, separation and reunification. Tension is usually built up around the various trials and tribulations the protagonists must overcome. In Othello, Iago wants to destroy the relationship between Othello and Cassio by accusing Desdemona of infidelity; unlike Don John, he is successful.... [tags: William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet]
1493 words (4.3 pages)
- William Shakespeare, in the 16th century, wrote two plays that both involved love. Although both showed love, their genres contrast with one of them a comedy and the other a tragic. In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a character named Hermia refuses marriage with Demetrius with the reason that she loves Lysander. Hermia’s friend, Helena, loves Demetrius. With parents involved in the scandal, the group rebel and run of into the woods. A fairy named Puck interferes and in the end, all lovers end up happy.... [tags: william shakespeare, romeo and juliet]
964 words (2.8 pages)
- Romance in Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors
- Central Conflict, Climax and Resolution in Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown
- Race and Class in Alice Walker's Color Purple
- Political Critique of Race Relations in Alice Walker's Color Purple
- Free Essay: Symbols and Symbolism in White Fang
- Using an Advertising Agency for British Airways