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Could someone please give me a short character analysis for the characters in The...

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dakshita100 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 19, 2010 at 6:22 PM via web

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Could someone please give me a short character analysis for the characters in The Comedy of Errors?

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katemschultz | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted June 21, 2010 at 12:59 PM (Answer #1)

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There is some information about the characters in Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors at the link listed below.  However, I can provide some more in-depth information about a few of the characters.  This is one of Shakespeare's shorter comedies and it relies on flat, stereotypical characters to provide the comedy.

Antipholus of Syracuse: Antipholus of Syracuse spends a good deal of this play confused, though he is the twin that sets out to find find his brother.  He gladly takes advantage of Adriana's and Angelo's mistakes, though his is in love with Luciana and professes this love in beautiful poetry.  He seems to treat Dromio of Syracuse with more kindness and humor, at times, than Antipholus of Ephesus uses with Dromio of Ephesus.

Antipholus of Ephesus:  A smaller role than Antipholus of Syracuse, Antipholus of Ephesus is first seen in the company of Balthazar and Angelo, drinking and inviting the men to dinner.  Antipholus of Ephesus then gets into a fiery rage when Dromio of Syracuse and Adriana will not let him in to his own house.  Rather than go to the police, he dines at a restaurant with a courtesan.  He is a hot-headed man who reacts from emotion rather than logic (example: the scene where he is confronted by Pinch and Act Five when he comes before the Duke.)  Antipholus of Ephesus is more likely to be physically abusive to Dromio than Antipholus of Syracuse is.

Dromio of Syracuse and Ephesus:  Both Dromios rely on their naivety and physical comedy to get themselves in and out of scrapes.  They serve their masters faithfully, though are physically beaten and berated for it.  They both serve as foils for Antipholus--they embody the low humor that the Antipholuses don't.

Adriana: Adriana is Antipholus of Ephesus's wife and shares his fiery personality.  She is headstrong and when she wants something, she wants it.  When Antipholus is not home for dinner, Adriana is worked up and when she finds him (in the form of Antipholus of Syracuse) she is persuasive in her desire to get him to come home to dinner.  She also cares a lot about her husband, as when she feels he is "out of sorts" she brings a "healer" (Pinch) to help him.

Luciana:  Similar to the Dromios, Luciana, Adriana's sister, serves as a foil to Adriana.  While Adriana is worried about her husband and his absence, Luciana is there to offer the alternate, unmarried point of view.  Luciana is more innocent, having never been married.  She is faithful to her sister, as she resists Antipholus of Syracuse's advances, thinking he is her sister's husband, even though she wants nothing more than to be in love and married.

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