If I Dream Not: Unity in "The Comedy of Errors"
The unity of The Comedy of Errors lies in the baffling contexts surrounding Aegeon, the boys from Syracuse, and the boys from Ephesus and in their responses to those contexts. Obviously, there are certain differences among these contexts that cannot be ignored. There are differences in the time spans that matter to the play: over twenty-five years for Aegeon, one week in particular for Antipholus and Dronmio of Ephesus, and one day for the Syracusans. The degree of seriousness with which Shakespeare handles Aegeon and each of the pairs varies greatly as well. There are differences in temperament. Yet, despite these differences, there is an ultimate similarity of situation and response which binds all five characters into the larger unity of this early comedy.