Monday, August 3, 2009

40. Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare

I have plans to see Comedy of Errors tomorrow night, at free Shakespeare on the Common, so I wanted to familiarize myself with the play beforehand. I've always heard CoE referred to as one of Shakespeare's funniest comedies, though it's certainly not as over-played as A Midsummer Night's Dream (which I have seen thrice).

The play primarily involves two sets of twins who were separated at birth. To make it more confusing, each twin shares a name with his brother. We have Antipholus and Dromio, of Epheseus, as well as Antipholus and Dromio, of Syracuse. Unfortunately, nearly all of the humor revolves around the mistaken identities. Admittedly, this will probably be a lot more amusing onstage (I hope). The Dromios, who are each respectively servants to the Antipholuses, are the "clown" characters, and their lines and puns are truly funny. Even without footnotes, I would have been able to understand some of the humor, but the translations provided in the Signet Classic edition really helped me to fully appreciate it. That's really why I wanted to read the play beforehand, to be up on the meanings and double meanings of Shakespearean slang.

I'll let you know more of what I think after I see the play!

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