ANTIPHOLUS THE NATIVE INVITES FRIENDS TO DINE WITH HIM
How far are the errors of Act III new? From which element of the plot,
mistaken identity, or the domestic difficulties of the native-born
Antipholus do they arise?
What effects are gained by bringing together in this Act the right
pairs of master and man?
The closed door between the two groups, one within the house, the
other without, is the only barrier to such an exhibition of the double
resemblances as would clear up all difficulties immediately. Is the
humor of the situation the better for this slightness of the barrier,
or is it rendered altogether too unlikely by it? Notice also the
narrow escapes from meeting and being seen together which masters and
men are constantly making and the skill of the stage movements so
that, for example, while one pair of twins is in the house, the other
pair is absolutely unable to come there, and make clear the main cause
of the errors.
What relation to the subordinate cause of the errors, i.e., the
domestic difficulties of Antipholus the Native--has the new source of
difficulty and bepuzzlement--the gold chain? Bring out the relation of
the dialogue (III, i, 23-35), between Antipholus and the friends he
invites, to the welcome they find and discuss later. The irony of his
confidence in welcome, at least, which is precisely what is lacking,
is peculiarly true to such disappointments in life. For the fun and
naturalness gained by it, therefore, the carefully planned arrangement
of the dialogue to lead up to it, does not seem to be artificial. What
would have happened to the plot if the plan proposed to force the door
with a crow-bar had been carried out? Since the dramatist was so
daring as to cause it to be suggested, it was incumbent upon him at
once to devise something to prevent it from being done. The way in
which he has accomplished this through Balthazar, puts both Antipholus
and his guest in an estimable light. Show its effect upon the present
scene and upon both the character-interest and the scenes to come in
which the Courtisan figures. What expense does Antipholus refer to
(III, i, 169)?
Is Luciana's advice so good that it accounts for the attraction she
has for Antipholus the Stranger? Or do you think she is attractive in
spite of it?
Is the dialogue in this Act between the right master and man as good
as that in Act II? Has it other excuse for being besides punning and
fooling? Examine its value as compared with the other in introducing a
new and amusing error, and educing puns that are suggested by this,
and therefore not independent of the plot.
This Act closes with two new incidents of use in the sequel: What are