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The Comedy of Errors

The Comedy of Errors


by William Shakespeare

The Comedy of Errors The Supernatural Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Act.Scene.Line). Line numbers correspond to the Riverside edition.

Quote #1

Upon my life, by some device or other
The villain is o'erraught of all my money.
They say this town is full of cozenage,
As, nimble jugglers that deceive the eye,
Dark-working sorcerers that change the mind,
Soul-killing witches that deform the body,
Disguisèd cheaters, prating mountebanks,
And many suchlike liberties of sin. (1.2.98-105)

This experience with E. Dromio is S. Antipholus’s first hint that something is amiss in Ephesus. S. Antipholus’ immediate conclusion is that sorcery and witchcraft are to blame. Does this seem like a reasonable conclusion, or is it merely a plot device?

Quote #2

How can she thus, then, call us by our names—
Unless it be by inspiration? (2.2.177-178)

Again, S. Antipholus is quick to chalk up the strangeness of Adriana knowing he and Dromio’s name to "inspiration" (meaning divination or clairvoyance). This is rather surprising, considering that S. Antipholus did come to Ephesus to look for a twin brother, and, if that were the case, shouldn’t his first assumption be that Adriana is married to his twin? Regardless, S. Antipholus seems to have accepted that he’s come to a magical place. With that premise, nothing that follows seems particularly strange and S. Antipholus has no reason to look for logical answers to the strange situations that befall him.

Quote #3

To me she speaks; she moves me for her theme.
What, was I married to her in my dream?
Or sleep I now and think I hear all this?
What error drives our eyes and ears amiss?
Until I know this sure uncertainty
I'll entertain the offered fallacy. (2.2.192-197)

S. Antipholus is certain he is dreaming, or was dreaming when he married this woman. This dream-state is an echo of all the supernatural stuff he assumes is afoot in Ephesus. Again S. Antipholus seems to use the supernatural as an excuse to avoid looking at a more complex reality.

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