One of William Shakespeare’s earliest plays, The Comedy of Errors, was first performed in December 1594. In contrast to his later comedies, it emphasizes slapstick over verbal humor. The play draws from many sources and influences. Its broad outline is taken from an ancient Roman comedy, its general tone is from Italian comedy of Shakespeare’s period, and the shrewish wife (Adriana) is a characteristic figure in English comedy. The Comedy of Errors has always been popular with audiences, if somewhat less so with critics.


Read one-minute Sparklet summaries, the detailed scene-by-scene Summary & Analysis, the Full Play Summary, or the Full Play Analysis of The Comedy of Errors.


See a complete list of the characters in The Comedy of Errors.

Quick Quizzes

Test your knowledge of The Comedy of Errors with quizzes about every section and more.

Deeper Study

Go further in your study of The Comedy of Errors with background information about William Shakespeare and the play, as well as mini essays that compare and contrast the Antipholus brothers, discuss the role of marriage, and the role of magic in the play.


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