Below you will find four outstanding thesis statements for “Comedy of Errors” by William Shakespeare that can be used as essay starters or paper topics. All five incorporate at least one of the themes in “A Comedy of Errors” by William Shakespeare and are broad enough so that it will be easy to find textual support, yet narrow enough to provide a focused clear thesis statement. These thesis statements offer a short summary of “Comedy of Errors” in terms of different elements that could be important in an essay. You are, of course, free to add your own analysis and understanding of the plot of “A Comedy of Errors” or themes to them for your essay. Using the essay topics below in conjunction with the list of important quotes from “Comedy of Errors” by Shakespeare at the bottom of the page, you should have no trouble connecting with the text and writing an excellent essay. Before you begin, however, please get some useful tips and hints about how to use PaperStarter.com in the brief User’s Guide…you’ll be glad you did.
Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #3: Superstition in The Comedy of Errors
Throughout the beginning of The Comedy of Errors, Antipholus of Syracuse is very suspicious that witchcraft is afoot in Ephesus. The first mention of witchcraft occurs when Antipholus of Syracuse is met by Dromio of Ephesus who insists that his master come home to dinner, something that Antipholus of Syracuse knows nothing about. Antipholus of Syracuse also accuses Dromio of Ephesus of running away with his money that was supposed to be deposited, and their argument escalates until Antipholus strikes Dromio of Ephesus, who runs away. When Dromio of Syracuse returns, he has no idea what Antipholus of Syracuse is speaking about, leading both men to believe that the city is under a spell. In what other scenes are there illusions to witchcraft? Do you think that there is a purposeful tie here, between the inclusion of witchcraft and the story of the twins (as twins were seen to be unnatural)?
Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #1 Compare and Contrast Antipholus of Ephesus with Antipholus of Syracuse
In the beginning of the text, the differences between the lives of Antipholus of Ephesus and Antipholus of Syracuse are explained. With this clear detailing a deep character analysis of these men from “A Comedy of Errors" can be performed. Antipholus of Syracuse and Dromio of Syracuse were taken with Aegeon after a shipwreck, while Antipholus of Ephesus and Dromio of Ephesus were taken with the abbess after the shipwreck. Antipholus of Syracuse and Aegeon have spent years looking for their missing familial counterparts. While Antipholus of Syracuse is restless, anxious and slightly paranoid, the behavior of Antipholus of Ephesus is completely different. Antipholus of Ephesus has settled down in Ephesus, with Dromio of Ephesus, the abbess and his new wife, Adriana. In which ways are Antipholus of Ephesus and Antipholus of Syracuse alike, beside typical looks? Do they share common mannerisms or linguistic habits? What do those similarities portray?
Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #4: The Importance of Family in The Comedy of Errors
Throughout The Comedy of Errors, there are many cases of mistaken identity by the people who should be closest to the twins. Neither the Dromios nor the Antipholus’ notice when they are talking to the wrong twin, and neither does Adriana realize that Antipholus of Syracuse is not Antipholus of Ephesus. What do you think is the underlying theme here? If the people who spent the most time around the twins could not realize the difference when they were replaced, what does that say about the difference between mind and body? Does it reveal that people are more caught up in the corporeal body than the transient soul?
Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #5: Persistence in The Comedy of Errors
There are many persistent people throughout The Comedy of Errors. Adriana is persistent that Antipholus of Syracuse come home for dinner, and later, that Antipholus of Syracuse return home with her to keep out of trouble with the court. Aegean and Antipholus of Ephesus are persistent in the fact that although their family has been missing for years, they will not give up looking for their lost mother, slave, and brother. In the end, everyone’s patience and hard work is rewarded when it slowly dawns on them that they are indeed all interconnected, and everyone finds their missing relative. What does this say about the power of persistence and hard work, in terms of achieving your goals?
This list of important quotations from “Comedy of Errors” by William Shakespeare will help you work with the essay topics and thesis statements above by allowing you to support your claims. All of the important quotes from “A Comedy of Errors” listed here correspond, at least in some way, to the paper topics above and by themselves can give you great ideas for an essay by offering quotes and explanations about other themes, symbols, imagery, and motifs than those already mentioned and explained. Aside from the thesis statements for Shakespeare’s “Comedy of Errors” above, these quotes alone with page numbers or line and scene numbers can act as essay questions or study questions as they are all relevant to the text in an important way.
“The meat is cold because you come not home; You come not home because you have no stomach; You have no stomach having broke your fast; But we that know what ’tis to fast and pray Are penitent for your default to-day." (I.ii.50-55)
“They say this town is full of cozenage, As, nimble jugglers that deceive the eye, Dark-working sorcerers that change the mind, Soul-killing witches that deform the body, Disguised cheaters, prating mountebanks, And many such-like liberties of sin." (I.ii.100-105)
“I to the world am like a drop of water / That in the ocean seeks another drop" (I.ii.37-38).
“”Why should their liberty than ours be more?” “Because their business still lies out o’door.”
“Look, when I serve him so, he takes it ill.” “O, know he is the bridle of your will.” “There’s none but asses will be bridled so.” “Why, headstrong liberty is lash’d with woe.” (II.i.10-15)
“Thou that hast no unkind mate to grieve thee, With urging helpless patience would relieve me;” (II.i.38-39)
“How comes it now, my husband, O, how comes it, That thou art then estranged from thyself? – Thyself I call it, being strange to me, That undividable, incorporate, Am better than they dear self’s better part. Ah, do not tear away thyself from me; For know, my love, as easy mayst thou fallA drop of water in the breaking gulf, And take unmingled thence that drop again Without addition or diminishing, As take from me thyself, and not me too.” (II.ii.119-129)
“I am an ass, I am a woman’s man, and besides myself.” (III.ii.76)
“”Where stood Belgia, the Netherlands?” “O, sir, I did not look so low.”" (III.ii.137-138)
“Methinks you are my glass, and not my brother: I see by you I am a sweet-fac’d youth;” (V.i.417-418)
Source : Shakespeare, William. The Norton Shakespeare. 1. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1997.