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The argument between Adriana and Luciana establishes their chief character traits: Adriana is clearly a jealous, shrewish wife in the tradition of Shakespeare's own The Taming of the Shrew, but despite her faults, she is a more sympathetic character than the docile, preachy Luciana, whose advice to women (like that offered by the Abbess later in the play) is to practice patience and subservience. While Luciana offers the conventional wisdom of Shakespeare's day, the playwright undermines these notions; the problems between husband and wife in The Comedy of Errors stem not from Adriana's jealousy or lack of obedience but from the fact that for a time, at least, she seems to have two husbands. Indeed, her behavior seems appropriate to the mixed- up situation; obedience is all very well, but to which man must she be obedient?
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I've always wondered about this. Supposedly, Antipholus and Dromio of Syracuse have come to Ephesus specifically to search for their missing twin brothers. They're here BECAUSE they think their IDENTICAL TWIN BROTHERS might be here. As soon as they arrive, people start acting like they recognize them even though they've never been there before, and treating them like they've lived here all their lives, and not once does it occur to either of them to think, "Hmm, it's almost as if they all know someone else - someone with my face, who has a s... Read more→
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