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 at the latest his third comedy. It is modeled on Menaechmi by the Roman playwright Plautus, but Shakespeare's ingenuity far outstrips his Roman forebear's. It is his shortest play, and has only one plot line; but here are many hints in this play of his future genius. Shakespeare gives the comedy and romance of the play elements of honesty and mystery which make the laughter of farce deepen into a final satisfying affirmation.

An Execution
An odd shipment
Sly look