Comedy of Errors–Acts II & III

I realize that even doing two acts today puts me behind a day. I’ve been keeping up on reading, but not on posting. I don’t know where my readers hail from, but there’s a very important event happening in Louisville, KY–Derby. It’s bigger than the super bowl. It’s been a crazy week for my city, and I, too, have gotten caught up in the craziness.

comedy-of-errors-lenny-he-007

Regarding both acts–Uhh, so, there was this whole beginning of the play, where a man was to be put to death…and we haven’t seen or heard about any of it. Why is the audience completely removed from the dark beginning that began the ball rolling on this play? We’re taken away from what makes the play tragic, and plunged into the hilarity of the two mistaken twins.

At the beginning of Act Two, there’s an interesting conversation between Adriana and Luciana–

Luciana: O, know, he is the bridle of your will.

Adriana: There’s none but asses that will be bridled so.

Luciana: Why, headstrong liberty is lash’d with woe.

Which is followed by a long list of God’s creation, referring to Genesis and God’s institution of man over nature. The last line that I cited, refers to the free choice of man that begets woe–if we look at the following Genesis reference, we can probably safely assume that it’s a reference to man’s fall. Luciana is rebuking Adriana for allowing her will to stray from the will of her husband’s. Luciana–Lux, lucis=light in Latin. Let there be light. I wonder if something is going on here.

comedy

 

In the third act, when Antipholus E. tries to get in the gate, Luce (ha, light, again. What’s Shakespeare doing with all this…light?) makes a comment on his being too late, and he makes a quip about a proverb–perhaps a reference to the scene where the bridesmaids don’t have enough oil for their lamps and get turned out of the wedding? Perhaps not. Regardless, we have more errors in the scene, when Antipholus S. tries his hand at wooing Luciana. Oi. There’s a strange interplay going on with the theme of adultery, even though no one is committing it in truth, because of the confusion of the brothers. Adultery is a grave matter, but when you have two twin brothers, it makes it easy to make it comical…but I wonder if Shakespeare is getting at something, making the grave comical, with the interchange between Antipholus S. and Luciana.

I’m going to post Act Four tomorrow (hopefully!) and then Saturday post the last. Sorry about falling behind! My life has gotten so much busier than when I began this project!

The need to postpone Act V

Ahh, so, I will individually answer comments after I get off of work this evening. Basically, there is SO MUCH going on at the end of this play, I needed yesterday to think about it and chew on it a little bit. And today, time and I have not been friends. So I will do everything in my power to energize myself after work and write an entry that can do the play what justice I am able to do it.

Thanks for your comments, guys!

My fellow Shakespeare fans…

It appears that I have failed when it comes to Henry IV, Part II. I’ve been trying to find time (and mental abilities) to finish the play, but I am at a complete loss. Unless I am able to not fall asleep while reading it tomorrow and post, I am just going to move on and begin a new play.

I hope this is the only time this happens, and perhaps I will re-visit it later, but frankly, I’m preparing for some big life changing events, and this play is not gripping enough to keep me away from packing/trying to find rental cars/etc.

My deepest apologies, but I know it would be a complete end to this project if I merely stayed on this one play. So, next week I’m going to be starting Much Ado About Nothing, because I have already studied it, will have things to say, and it will be much easier on my already stressed out mind.

Life!

My apologies, but I have (obviously) taken the week off. I’ll begin on Henry IV, Part II this coming Monday. In fact, my life is getting really crazy (and is about to get crazier) so I may have to be on hiatus until things settle down.

Thank you for understanding! Sometimes the Bard cannot be the priority over real-life events.

Act IV–King Lear

Ah, don’t you just adore Edgar? I do. He’s such a good man.

LEAR

So, I think the main point I want to make about that scene with Edgar and his father, Gloucester, is that Edgar’s deceit–allowing his father to think he’s jumped off the Dover cliff–is done in order to make that desire for death seem to come from outside himself. He states, “And yet I know not how conceit may rob/The treasury of life, when life itself/Yields to the theft: had he been where he thought,/By this, had thought been past” (IV.vi.42-45). He then makes it seem that a ghastly fiend drove him to this, and that the gods had saved his life. He’s a son showing his father how his life is a bloody miracle.

Oh, hey, and afterwards begins to address him as “father.”  Which brings me to my next point.

Kent and Edgar are deceivers, disguised unlike they are, pretending to be what they are not, however, in every action they make, or whenever they are asked to say “what kind of men” they are, they are always honest. Kent’s disguised first meeting with Lear goes thusly,

KING LEAR How now! what art thou?
KENT 
A man, sir.
KING LEAR What dost thou profess? what wouldst thou with us?

KENT I do profess to be no less than I seem; to serve

him truly that will put me in trust: to love him
that is honest; to converse with him that is wise,
and says little; to fear judgment; to fight when I
cannot choose; and to eat no fish.

KING LEAR What art thou?

KENT A very honest-hearted fellow, and as poor as the king.

KING LEAR If thou be as poor for a subject as he is for a

king, thou art poor enough. What wouldst thou?

KENT Service.

KING LEAR Who wouldst thou serve?

KENT You.

KING LEAR Dost thou know me, fellow?

KENT No, sir; but you have that in your countenance

which I would fain call master.

KING LEAR What’s that?

KENT Authority.

KING LEAR What services canst thou do?

KENT I can keep honest counsel, ride, run, mar a curious

tale in telling it, and deliver a plain message
bluntly: that which ordinary men are fit for, I am
qualified in; and the best of me is diligence.

Where is Kent lying here? He isn’t–he has done all of these things, is all that he claims, in his actions–but he is only able to serve Lear insofar as he is disguised. It is the same with Edgar–when his father is blind, he knows Edgar’s innocence, and Edgar can serve him as a son to a father. Which goes back to my point from yesterday: nothing is face-value, everything is in action.

My point, just to drive it further, is also made by Kent’s response to Cordelia’s acknowledgement of him. He states,” Pardon, dear madam;/Yet to be known shortens my made intent./My boon I make it that you know me not/Till time and I think meet” (IV.vii.8-11).

King-Lear-as-Cordelia-romola-garai-6878978-300-400

And now it seems that Lear’s sorrows are over, now that he is reunited with the darling Cordelia. Keyword: seems.

Does anyone have any thoughts on the nameless gentlemen who has been loyal to Lear throughout all of this?