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The Comedy of Errors

William Shakespeare

Book Overview: 

The Comedy of Errors is one of William Shakespeare's earliest plays. It is his shortest and one of his most farcical comedies, with a major part of the humor coming from slapstick and mistaken identity, in addition to puns and word play. The Comedy of Errors tells the story of two sets of identical twins that were accidentally separated at birth. Antipholus of Syracuse and his servant, Dromio of Syracuse, arrive in Ephesus, which turns out to be the home of their twin brothers, Antipholus of Ephesus and his servant, Dromio of Ephesus. When the Syracusans encounter the friends and families of their twins, a series of wild mishaps based on mistaken identities lead to wrongful beatings, a near-seduction, the arrest of Antipholus of Ephesus, and accusations of infidelity, theft, madness, and demonic possession.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . . he not do it by fine and recovery?

Dro. S. Yes, to pay a fine for a periwig, and recover 75 the lost hair of another man.

Ant. S. Why is Time such a niggard of hair, being, as it is, so plentiful an excrement?


Dro. S. Because it is a blessing that he bestows on beasts: and what he hath scanted men in hair, he hath 80 given them in wit.

Ant. S. Why, but there’s many a man hath more hair than wit.

Dro. S. Not a man of those but he hath the wit to lose his hair.

85 Ant. S. Why, thou didst conclude hairy men plain dealers without wit.

Dro. S. The plainer dealer, the sooner lost: yet he loseth it in a kind of jollity.

Ant. S. For what reason?

90 Dro. S. For two; and sound ones too.

Ant. S. Nay, not sound, I pray you.

Dro. S. Sure ones, then.

Ant. S. Nay, not sure, in a thing falsing.

Dro. S. Certain ones, then.

95 Ant. S. Nam. . . Read More

Community Reviews

My first taste of live Shakespeare at age 6!

My parents were from Stratford and many, many summers ago, during a visit to my grandparents, my father took me, at the tender age of 6, to the Festival Theater to see THE COMEDY OF ERRORS. I had absolutely no idea what they were saying or what the plot wa

The story opens with this guy, who is maybe about to be executed, telling a sad tale about the search for his missing family, in an effort to explain to the duke why he is illegally in his city. <--this shit is nuts, let me tell you.
Buckle up.

So way back in the day, his lovely wife gives birth to i

I have always said that Much Ado is Shakespeare's funniest play -- but Comedy of Errors is just hilarious! It's pretty similar to Twelfth Night, so if you liked that I think you'll like COE.

This play is also drowning in early modern politics though. It draws on tensions surrounding empire, racism an

This play is so light it practically floats, a marvelous, silly absurdity of mistaken identity that will put a smile on your face even the cranky ...may laugh. The plot was old when Shakespeare wrote it back in the 1590's. Still not just a set of twins in this comedy but two, the writer wanted to do

Book Review

3 out of 5 stars to The Comedy of Errors, a comedy (seriously, did you think with that title it was one of his tragedies... oh my) published in 1594 by William Shakespeare. So... who knew Shakespeare invented the humor of mistaken identity? Wow! Think of this as a cross betwee

The Comedy of Errors is perfect, but it is perfection of a low order. In this early play, Shakespeare sets out to master the complex mechanisms and simple humor of farce, and succeeds completely.

It is enjoyable and well-crafted--like a really good episode of The Beverly Hillbillies or Three's Compa

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