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The Comedy of Errors

The Comedy of Errors

The Comedy of Errors Themes

Little Words, Big Ideas

Isolation

Isolation is the central tenet of The Comedy of Errors. It’s not something the characters talk about explicitly, but it’s the subtext that threads through most of the play and motivates...

Suffering

Suffering in The Comedy of Errors oscillates in type between emotional and physical suffering. Both are very present in the play, and all of the characters are long-suffering in one way or another....

Family

Family in The Comedy of Errors is mostly notable for its absence. Family is important to the characters, and particularly so for Egeon, S. Antipholus, and Aemilia. The theme of family can be seen a...

Appearances

Appearances are the primary source of the comedy in The Comedy of Errors. Appearances can almost always be relied on to be false in this play – the twins (the Antipholi and the Dromios) are c...

Identity

Much of The Comedy of Errors is about mistaken identity, and the search for true identity. The most significant identity search belongs to S. Antipholus, who feels incomplete for any number of reas...

The Supernatural

The supernatural figures in The Comedy of Errors are purely an excuse to ignore the complexity of reality. There is no single occurrence that cannot be explained by some perfectly natural (if bizar...

Women and Femininity

Women are very present in The Comedy of Errors as vocal forces. Though they have a lot of opinions and many speaking lines, it seems their main reason for existing in the play is to talk about and...

Marriage

Marriage serves a variety of functions in The Comedy of Errors. It’s the stuff of heartache through separation (as with the separation of Egeon and Aemilia), but staying together in marriage...

Duty

Duty in The Comedy of Errors is the stuff of wives, husbands, servants, citizens, parents, and children. Basically, everyone owes some duty to someone else, and each struggles to anticipate the oth...

Rules and Order

Law and order frame the action of the play. Rather than be the foundation for what happens in the play, law and order are significant because of their impotence. The play is about forces greater th...

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