Week 5, Book 5: A Comedy of Errors

Posted on 31.01.2012

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5. A Comedy of Errors, William Shakespeare, Jan 31
I’m happy to have done one extra book for the month, even if this IS week 5, technically. With this book, I’ve begun my readings of Shakespeare for the year. I’ll be reading all of the plays in order.

My plan was to read the first five (through Titus Andronicus) and then make a decision on whether or not to continue. I know that from here we’ll be taking a turn into tragedy, but I am excited to keep going.

So, this being his first published (or made public, at the very least) play, it’s said to have been adapted from an older Greek play by Plautus, Menaechmus, and that play was included in my version of the book. I’m not going to read it now, since it was apparently practically paraphrased, but I might come back to it later.

I loved this story, and the use of twins who happen to have twin servants (two pairs separated at birth) was pretty ingenious, since getting just one set of twins mixed up seems easy and obvious enough. Add a second set of twins and it just gets compounded. I liked it.

I’m happy to report that I haven’t lost my understanding of Shakespearean English, something I was a bit concerned about. It’s just as easy to read as I remember it to be. I still won’t make my students read it, not unless they are entirely advanced.

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