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Word Count: 1,251
The Comedy of Errors There are several themes that Shakespeare uses which are only loosely related to the actual comedy The conflicts between bondage and liberty law and sympathy death and rebirth all form a very serious undertone within the play There is also the serious effect of time Shakespeare requires that all the action culminate at five oclock with that being the time of Egeons execution Antipholus of Syracuses meeting with the merchant and the moment when Angelo must pay the second merchant his money There are also several threats within the play The comedy opens with Egeon unwittingly breaking the law for which he is sentenced to death In addition to this very real threat there is also the threat that the play will end prematurely At various times the characters are dangerously close to revealing the entire plot and ending the play These occur when Antipholus has the chance to ransom his father at the beginning and also when both Dromios are on opposite sides of the door at Adrianas house The play does not end prematurely and for the simple reason that the characters are meant to learn something For instance the Duke claims that he is sympathetic but that his duty is to uphold the law at all costs which is why he sentences Egeon to die However the audience must remember that Egeons death is contingent upon a thousand-mark ransom Thus the Duke also stands to gain potential profit by sentencing Egeon to death His pardon of Egeon at the end of the play is supposed to indicate that he has not only learned to pardon but has overcome his selfishness by having him turn down the ransom which Antipholus offers The play also hinges on coincidence When Antipholus of Syracuse arrives the merchant pays
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