The Comedy of Errors

by William Shakespeare

Fall 1995

The Comedy of Errors is probably one of Shakespeare's earliest plays. It was first performed at Gray's Inn on December 28, 1594, which makes it his third comedy, at the latest. It is modeled on Menaechmi by the Roman playwright Plautus, but Shakespeare's ingenuity far outstrips his Roman forebearer's. It is his shortest play and has only one plot line, but there are many hints in this play of his future genius. Shakespeare imbues the play's comedy and romance with elements of honesty and mystery, making the laughter of farce deepen into a final, satisfying affirmation.

An Execution
An odd shipment
Sly look