The Brothers Menaechmus Analysis

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The aim of this essay is to observe and explain the way the play The Comedy of Errors written by William Shakespeare in the 16th Century adhere or deviate from the norms of classical comedy. We should bear in mind that this comedy is based closely in two Latin originals: The Brothers Menaechmus a play about long separated twins who are mistaken for each other and are eventually reunited; and the Amphitruo, where masters and servants are confused. The two plays were written by Plautus, and Shakespeare combined both plots adapting them to the audience of his time and adding new characters to make it even more complicated. To evaluate the differences and similitudes mentioned before it is essential to observe some characteristics and the context…show more content…
Despite all the similarities seen above, Shakespeare endows his work with many aspects of his time and adds new characters and situations to complicate even more the plot and almost triple the incidents of error. Shakespeare altered plot elements and location and modified the comic tone and mood when adapting Plautus to the English stage. In terms of theatrical representation, we find wide differences because the way of acting changed drastically between one work and another. In Plautus’ times, the use of masks was common and it prevented to see the faces and facial expressions of the actors. As they didn’t use masks in Elizabethan Shakespeare had to look for actors who looked alike as much that people could believe that they were twins since. The theatre itself also changed and in the era of Shakespeare a more accurate representation was possible thanks to the improvements in the…show more content…
The audience is an important point and there were many differences between Shakespeare 's and Plautus ' ones. Shakespeare’s audience was Christian and at the end of his play, the world is returned to normal when a Christian abbess interferes. Added to this, a character in Plautus’ play would never blame an inconvenient situation on witchcraft while Shakespeare also adds a supernatural sense of place as the characters point to fate, dream, madness, or witches when they can’t explain the strange things happening. An example of this can be seen when Dromio of Syracuse explain his connection with Nell and Antipholus’ with Luciana. Both feel they’re being bewitched; however, Antipholus of does it in a romantic way while Dromio feels a darker enchantment. In act III, scene II: ‘’Oh, sir, I did not look so low. To conclude, this drudge, or diviner, laid claim to me, call 'd me Dromio; swore I was assured to her; told me what privy marks I had about me, as, the mark of my shoulder, the mole in my neck, the great wart on my left arm, that I amazed ran from her as a witch: And, I think, if my breast had not been made of faith and my heart of steel, She had transform 'd me to a curtal dog and made me turn i ' the wheel.’’ (The

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