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Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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Analysis

Literary Devices in The Comedy of Errors

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Water imagery occurs all over the play, starting with Egeon’s initial speech about the storm. This is a disorderly affair of water separating families, so it’s only natural that water should be...

Setting

The play is set in the bustling Greek city of Ephesus, which serves as a crossroads of sorts for all sorts of trade and activity. The geographical setting of a busy city is an ideal place for all t...

Narrator Point of View

Though all works of literature present the author’s point of view, they don’t all have a narrator or a narrative voice that ties together and presents the story. This particular piece o...

Genre

In addition to the title, The Comedy of Errors has all the elements of a Shakespearean comedy – there’s a conflict, some resolution, confusion is cleared up, families and lovers get reunited, a...

Tone

Shakespeare knows something the characters don't know, and he carefully crafts this play so that the players stay out of the loop for as long as possible. The confusion builds circles around itself...

Writing Style

Because the conceit of the play is so complicated, Shakespeare had to have characters speak directly to each other, but in an indirect way, so they don’t get to the heart of all the confusion unt...

What’s Up With the Title?

Though it is one of many comedies Shakespeare wrote, The Comedy of Errors is Shakespeare’s only play that has "comedy" explicitly in the title. Interestingly, the conceits of this play are so...

Plot Analysis

Egeon is sentenced to death in Ephesus; Egeon is seeking his two lost sonsEgeon is being a sad sack, and seems to have a life story so miserable that he’d rather die from it than deal with it. Th...

Booker’s Seven Basic Plots Analysis: Comedy

Egeon’s family is separated; S. Antipholus and Egeon separately seek their lost family membersThe play begins amidst confusion, as Egeon seeks his lost son and S. Antipholus doesn’t know he’s...

Trivia

The first public performance of The Comedy of Errors was basically a flashmob, thrown onto an unsuspecting audience. Shakespeare, still a relatively new playwright, presented the piece during the C...

Steaminess Rating

There’s no explicit sex in The Comedy of Errors to speak of, though the play tends towards the bawdy and lewd with respect to women. The PG rating would be more for vulgarity. However, we do...

Allusions

The Bible: "The pleasant punishment that women bear" (1.1.46); Woman as a vine in Psalm 128:3 (2.2.174); Adam (4.3.17); The Prodigal Son (5.3.19); Angels made of light (4.3.55)Ovid: Metamorphoses &...
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