Comedy of Errors–Acts IV &V

The past few days have been a whirlwind.

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My biggest complaint, or perhaps confusion, deals with the relationship of Antipholis S. and Luciana–it doesn’t make sense to me that there’s a big to-do about his affection for her in the middle of the play, and yet there’s not a mentioning of their getting together in the end. But perhaps this is done on purpose–the reuniting of the two brothers and their parents is more important than trifles of love. But I’m not set on that, because unless they’re going to get together, why spur Adriana into a fit of jealousy? It would have been just as confusing, and just as easy for her to think Antipholis E. crazy without it interrupting their marriage as considerably as it did. Perhaps it shows Adriana’s good character and dedication to her husband?

I…don’t really have much more to say, actually. This play, despite some character confusion and complication, is actually pretty straight forward. I’ve read it was one of his earlier plays (with so many a rhyming couplet) and perhaps there’s more here than I can see, or perhaps the Bard revised his work later in his life.

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The next few days are going to be hectic for me–I’m going home Tuesday to see my family, so I’m going to try to at least do what I did this week–keep on top of the readings and do big cluster posts. Thank you, my dear followers, who remain patient with me as my life gets so busy!

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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.

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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.

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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!

Comedy of Errors–Act I

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I generally don’t think plays with the word “Comedy” in their title begin with impending death, but here Shakespeare proves me wrong again. Also, I’ve never been more confused while reading a Dramatis Personae.

Most of the act is story-telling, giving us the background of poor Egeon and the fate of his wife and sons. He states, “…the my end/Was wrought by nature, not by vile offence” (I.i.33-34), which I think may be a setting up of the main theme of the play–fate versus our actions. 

Side note: he was saved by fishermen of Corinth. Which smells a little familiar to me…

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Antipholus of Syracuse–I can’t find a definition of Antipholus or Pholus or…anything, though I came across the word Centaur among some astrology pages. I do enjoy his plan to lose himself for the sake of his mission, self-giving for the sake of something other. Which, since we’re already getting to see a little confusion with the twin brothers, I won’t be surprised if there is quite a bit of losing oneself.