The Comedy of Errors Themes & Symbolism

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Identity

The concept of identity is one of the most discussed topics in the criticism on The Comedy of Errors, going well beyond the obvious theme of mistaken identity. Some critics focus solely on personal identity (usually with regard to the twin brothers Antipholi or Adriana, though other characters' identities are also addressed), while others look at how public social and private identities intersect.

It is generally acknowledged that Antipholus of Syracuse enters the city of Ephesus to make himself "whole" and find his identity, which he believes will happen when he finds his twin brother. However, the strange encounters he has (his social identity) make him question his sanity and that of others who speak to him as if they know him. Antipholus of Ephesus, on the other hand, clings to his personal identity when assailed with threats to it for reasons unknown to him. His wife...

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This section contains 716 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Comedy of Errors Study Guide
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The Comedy of Errors from Shakespeare for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.