Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Reader's Diary #749- William Shakespeare: The Comedy of Errors

Another situational comedy brought to you by Billy Shakespeare. The Comedy of Errors involves not one but two sets of identical twins separated at birth. To make it even more hilarious, each set of twins is given the exact same name and one set of twins is the servants to the other. Got it? Meet Antipholus and his servant Dromio. Now meet Antipholus and his servant Dromio. Life is good, uncomplicated, until one fateful day when Adam Sandler and Rob Schneider cross paths with Adam Sandler and Rob Schneider.

Might as well. The Comedy of Errors is hard enough to accept as a premise as it is, but when it's basically the same joke over and over, it grows old fast. Fortunately it's also his shortest, so by the time you're sick of it, it'll be over. Rhyming couplets keep it fast and superficial. The dynamic and relationships of classes and genders keep it interesting, though frustrating from a 21st century pc state of mind. And a bit about comparing a woman's body to a globe, with various body parts symbolized by particular countries, is mildly amusing. However, it's mostly about mistaken identity. People continue to mistake Antipholus of Syracuse with Antipholus of Ephesus and Dromio of Syracuse with Dromio of Ephesus. They are, of course, confused and the hilarity ensues... and ensues and ensues and ensues until finally, it ends happily.

Not one of Shakespeare's best. I'd venture to guess it was mostly for the money. But mildly amusing nonetheless.


Stephanie said...

This semester I'm taking an entire Lit class devoted to Shakespeare. I have no idea yet what the reading list includes, but I hope there are some good comedies.

Allison said...

Definitely not my favourite by Shakespeare, but I went to this play a few summers ago and it was brilliantly acted I forgot it was a bit repetitive.

John Mutford said...

Stephanie: I want to like Shakespeare's comedies more than I have, but I think I remember enjoying A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Allison: Yeah, I'd still go and see it live.

Shonna said...

My favourite Shakespeare comedy remains As You Like It.