2Characters FRAME: The Duke (Silenus), Egeon of Syracuse Anthipolus of Syracuse, Dromio of SyracuseAntipholus of Ephesus, Dromio of EphesusAdriana, wife of Antipholus of EphesusLuciana, Adriana’s sisterLuce (Nell), wife to Dromio of EphesusCourtesan (Prostitute)Dr. Pinch – School teacher/conjurerThe Abbess – nun of Ephesus
3Background Written between 1592-1594 First documented performance was December 28, 1594 at Gray’s InnMay have been performed earlierOne of Shakespeare’s earliest plays, and his shortest
4LocationsSyracuse and Ephesus – Greece, and the sea (which represents Fortune)Important setting: a combination of the ancient and the modernConsidered: full of spirits, spells and madness (possibly sinful)
5Influences for Shakespeare’s Play Plautus c. 254 – 184 B.C.Roman playwright of the Old Latin periodThe Menaechmi or The Twin Brothers (mistaken identity between twins of the same name)Amphitruo – (Act III: twin servants, master of the house locked out while twin dines)Frame story of Emilia and Egeon – from Apollonius of Tyre
6The Comedy of ErrorsConsidered Shakespeare’s “apprenticeship” in comedy.Considered adolescent, bawdy and immatureDelights audiences, but seldom draws big time actors, as it does not have “deep” characters.
7The Classical Unities Comedy of Errors imitates classical comedy. 1- There is one main action, with few subplots.2- There is a single physical space, not compressed geography or representative of more than one place.3- The play takes place in no more than 24 hours (same day).
8Comedy COMEDY (from Greek: komos, "songs of merrimakers") In the original meaning of the word, comedy referred to a genre of drama during the Dionysian festivals of ancient Athens. The first comedies were loud and boisterous drunken affairs, as the word's etymology suggests.Later, in medieval and Renaissance use, the word comedy came to mean any play or narrative poem in which the main characters manage to avert an impending disaster and have a happy ending. The comedy did not necessarily have to be funny, and indeed, many comedies are serious in tone.It is only in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries that comedy's exclusive connotations of humor arose.
9Format – follows a traditional form Exposition – basic explanationComplication – confusion/conflictClimax – high point of the actionDiscovery - clarificationReversal of Fortune – things do a 180
10Farce FARCE (from Latin Farsus, "stuffed"): A farce is a form of low comedy designed to provoke laughter through highly exaggerated caricatures of people in improbable or silly situations.Traits of farce include(1) physical bustle such as slapstick,(2) sexual misunderstandings and mix-ups, and(3) broad verbal humor such as puns. Many literary critics (especially in the Victorian period) have tended to view farce as inferior to "high comedy" that involves brilliant dialogue.Many of Shakespeare's early works, such as The Taming of the Shrew, are considered farces.
11SlapstickSLAPSTICK COMEDY: Low comedy in which humor depends almost entirely on physical actions and sight gags. The antics of the three stooges often fall into this category.Who would be examples of modern slapstick comedians?
12FrameFRAME NARRATIVE: The result of inserting one or more small stories within the body of a larger story that encompasses the smaller ones.Often this term is used interchangeably with both the literary technique and the larger story itself that contains the smaller ones, which are called pericopes, "framed narratives" or "embedded narratives." The most famous example is Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.
13Word Play/PunsWord play is a literary technique in which the words that are used become the main subject of the work.Puns (A play on two words similar in sound but different in meaning), phonetic mix-ups such as spoonerisms (The comic (and usually unintentional) transposition of two initial consonants or other sounds), obscure words and meanings, clever rhetorical excursions, oddly formed sentences, and telling character names are common examples of word play.
15Themes Madness vs. Sanity Illusion vs. Reality Dreaming vs. Waking What are the real delusions “sane” people suffer?Contentiousness and jealousy in marriageConcern for appearancesBeing cheated (in business and love)
16Act I Vocabulary Rancorous (adj.) - hateful Synods (n.) – assembly, councilHap (n.) – fortune, lotFactor (n.) - brokerMeaner (adj.) – lower rankingBurthen (n.) - burdenMeanly (adv.) – in no small degree
17Act I , scene i and ii Vocabulary Importune (v.) – Beg, ask persistentlyReft (adj.) – Robbed, deprivedHapless (adj.) – UnluckyWend (v.) – DirectMean (n.) – Way/methodVillain (n.) - ServantContent (n.) – Pleasure/satisfaction
18Act I, scene ii Vocabulary Capon (n.) - ChickenDally (v.) – Deal lightly, tease, play aboutPate (n.) - HeadMaw (n.) – Belly/stomachKnave (n.) – Scoundrel, rascal, rogue, servant, lackeySconce (n.) - HeadFlout (v.)– Insult, jibe, tauntAn - if