The Comedy of Errors

All posts tagged The Comedy of Errors

The Comedy of Errors – William Shakespeare

Published September 15, 2013 by bibliobeth

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What’s it all about?:

The Comedy of Errors tells the story of two sets of identical twins that were accidentally separated at birth. Antipholus of Syracuse and his servant, Dromio of Syracuse, arrive in Ephesus, which just so happens to be the home of their twin brothers, Antipholus of Ephesus and his servant, Dromio of Ephesus. On encountering the friends and families of their twins, a series of wild mishaps ensues, based on mistaken identities, leading to wrongful beatings, a near-seduction, the arrest of Antipholus of Ephesus, and false accusations of infidelity, theft, madness and even demonic posssession. This play has been popular on the stage during the last three centuries and has proved itself admirable suited to adaptation as pure farce and musical spectacle.

What did I think?:

I have to admit, I was slightly wary before approaching this play. I haven’t studied any Shakespeare for a long while, and I feared not being able to understand most of it! I needn’t have worried though, as it proved to be immensely readable, and I think I just about kept up with the gist of the tale. So, in a nutshell, we have two sets of identical twins, all separated at birth and ignorant of the other’s existences. It is also particularly unlucky that they have the same names i.e. we have two Antipholus’ and two Dromio’s – you can almost anticipate the carnage that occurs when the two sets of twins meet.

This is one of Shakespeare’s earliest and shortest plays, some arguing that it is his very first, and has been performed on the stage to great acclaim. As with all other Shakespeare plays that I have come across, the writing is poetic and lyrical, with a dash of humour and a dollop of word play. And I have to say, I think Shakespearian insults are amongst the finest around:

“Why pratest thou to thyself and answer’st not? Dromio, thou drone, thou snail, thou slug, thou sot!”

There were so many problems of mistaken identity in this play that it was often hard to keep up, but I can imagine it coming across very well on the stage, and it is certainly true that these plays were written for the sole purpose of being acted out, not merely read. In general, I found it a short but pleasant enough read that shows all the promise and talent that Shakespeare had as a writer.

Would I recommend it?:

Probably!

Star rating (out of 5):

3 Star Rating Clip Art

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WWW Wednesday #17

Published September 11, 2013 by bibliobeth

WWW Wednesdays is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Click on the image to get to her blog!

WWW Wednesday is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading, thank you MizB!

To join in you need to answer 3 questions..

•What are you currently reading?

•What did you recently finish reading?

•What do you think you’ll read next?

Click on the book covers to take you to a link to find out more!

What are you currently reading?

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This is the debut novel from Douglas Nicholas and a choice of my book group for this month. Unfortunately, it’s not as good as I’d hoped, but there’s still time for that to change!

What did you recently finish reading?

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This is the latest novel from Zadie Smith, and was short-listed for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2013, My review should be up shortly!

What do you think you’ll read next?

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Yes, I thought it was high time I got my teeth into the Old Bard. I haven’t studied Shakespeare since college, so here’s hoping I can understand it!

What are you reading this week? Please leave your link and I’ll stop by for a visit! Happy reading everyone!