Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2020


This article proposes that Shakespeare uses twinship and marriage in The Comedy of Errors to reflect on the importance of individuality and interrelation in the formation of identity. Specifically, this article shows how The Comedy of Errors sets the twin relation against the marital relation, ultimately implying that marriage—imperfect, everyday marriage—has as much subjective impact as the extraordinary bond between identical twins. As amazing as it might be to see two persons sharing "one face, one voice, one habit," The Comedy of Errors suggests that the twin relation does not surpass in significance the equally marvelous relation whereby husband and wife become "one flesh."


This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in SEL Studies in English Literature 1500-1900, volume 60, issue 2, in 2020 following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version is available online at

Peer Reviewed



(c)Rice University. Published by Johns Hopkins University Press.



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