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2. Menaecmi, II. i. 12:—
Mes. Why then let's even as long as wee live seeke your brother six yeares now have we roamde about thus, Istria, Hispania, Massylia, Ilyria, all the upper sea, all high Greece, all Haven Towns in Italy.
Errors, I. i. 132:
Five summers have I spent in farthest Greece,
3. Menaecmi, II. i. 35:—
I hold it verie needful to be drawing home-ward, lest in looking for your brother we quite lose ourselves.
Errors, I. ii. 39:
So I, to find a mother and a brother,
In quest of them, unhappy, lose myself.
4. Menaecmi, II. i. 37 :—
For this assure yourselfe, this Towne Epidamnum, . . . sine damno; and cf. v. i. 450 post.
Errors, I. ii. 97-105:
They say this town is full of cozenage.
I greatly fear my money is not safe.
5. Menaecmi, v. i. 46:—
Desire him of all love to come over quickly to my house. Errors, II. i. 102 (and compare Midsummer-Night's Dream, II. ii. 154):
Would that alone of love he would detain;
and I. i. 131:—
Whom, whilst I laboured of a love to see.
6. Menaecmi, v. i. 91 :
Mul. He makes me a stale and a laughing-stocke to all the world.
Errors, II. i. 101 :—
Poor I am but his stale,
7. Menaecmi, V. i. IOI :
Mul. Hee hauntes naughtie harlottes under my nose.
While she with harlots feasted in my house.
8. Menaecmi, V. i. 123
My chaine which he stole from me.
Errors, II. i. 106 :—
Promised me a chain.
9. Menaecmi, V. i. 308 :—
Methinks it is no pleasure to a man to be basted with a
ropes end two or three houres togither.
Errors, IV. i. 16; IV. iv. 16, 42, etc. :
Rope's end; to a rope's end; beware the rope's end;
and cf. II. ii. 62 :—
Purchase me another dry basting.
10. Menaecmi, v. i. 346:—
You had bene in good case, if I had not bene heere now.
Errors, IV. iii. 23, etc. :
A plain case; in a case of leather, etc.
11. Menaecmi, v. i. 369:
Mess. Ile go strait to the Inne, and deliver up my accounts,
and all your stuffe; and v. i. 546, household stuffe.
Errors, IV. iv. 148, 157:—
Come to the Centaur; fetch our stuffe from thence.
12. Menaecmi, v. i. 410:
Mess. Your ghoast. Men. Tra. What ghoast? Mess. Your
Errors, V. i. 333-35:
Duke. One of these men is Genius to the other;
And so of these, which is the natural man,
And which the spirit ?
13. Menaecmi, V. i. 428 :—
Men. Tra. Why, doating patch, etc.
Errors, III. i. 32 :—
14. Menaecmi, V. i. 450:—
Mess. This same is either some notable cousening Jugler.
Errors, I. ii. 97, 98 ante :
They say this town is full of cozenage,
As nimble jugglers that deceive the eye.
15. And finally we may compare the Menaecmi, V. i. 445, where Messenio the slave inquires which of the Menechmi came with him from the ship, with Errors, V. i. 410 sqq., where Dromio S. mistakes Ant. E. for his own master.
Another point which seems to militate against the idea that Shakespeare took the trouble to consult the Latin original arises from the peculiar designations "Sereptus and "Erotes" which appear in the Folio as cognomina of the twin Antipholuses. Herein it must be noticed that in the first two acts in the Folio Antipholus of Syracuse is distinguished as Antipholus (or Antipholis) Erotes or Errotes, and Antipholus of Ephesus as Antipholus Sereptus; whilst in the remaining acts they figure as Antipholus Siracusia and Antipholus of Ephesus respectively. "Erotes" and
Sereptus" are probably mere errors for or corruptions of Erraticus and Surreptus; the title of Antipholus Sereptus being in all probability derived from the Menaechmus Surreptus of Plautus, a character well known to Shakespeare's contemporaries; and if so, most probably taken from the Historie of Error. (See the note of the Cambridge Editors hereon, vol. i., p. 518.) Another argument
against Shakespeare's accurate knowledge of Latin and his direct recourse to the text of Plautus is that, assuming the Folio text was printed from Shakespeare's manuscript, as is probable enough, it is difficult to see how these corruptions could have appeared therein, if he were able to appreciate the Latin text without excessive difficulty. Besides, the Folio applies the title of Sereptus to Ant. E., who is not Surreptus or "stolen away," like the Menechmus of Plautus, but separated from his father and mother on the seas. Sereptus,' I suspect," says Watkiss Lloyd, Essays, p. 47, "was written down by ear with no very precise apprehension of its restricted meaning. It was obtained from a source which was neither the printed Plautus nor the translation of W. Warner." This source may well have been the Historie of Error or some careless transcript thereof, which Shakespeare may have found in his company's archives. Shakespeare's spelling of the name may have been "Antipholus "—see III. ii. 2-4—though in the Folio, as we have seen, it occasionally appears as "Antipholis"; and, as Watkiss Lloyd points out, it is “a name that has much appearance of having been a changeling by ear for 'Antiphilus,' a true Greek appellative; and by its signification as appropriate for the twin masters of the play; ȧvripiλía = mutual affection." I am of opinion that the latter form is what Shakespeare really intended and did in fact use, and chiefly on the ground that " Antiphilus" is the name of one of the heroes in Sidney's Arcadia, a book which was of course well known to Shakespeare.
A brief sketch of the plot of the Menaecmi will enable us to judge of the extent to which Shakespeare was indebted
to the Latin comedy in his handling of The Errors, and of the enormous advance in dramatic skill and characterisation which is shown in the English version.
The scene of the Menaechmi is laid at Epidamnus (in the English version Epidamnum, and in the Folio Epidamium). The Menaechmi, distinguished in Warner's version as "Menechmus the Traveller," originally called "Sosicles," and "Menechmus the Citizen," are two brothers, one of whom, Sosicles, after the loss of the other, is called by his name; and when arrived at man's estate goes in search of him. At the opening of the play, Menechmus the Citizen who is given to "lewd dealings and vile thievery," has arranged to dine with a courtezan Erotium; but Menechmus Sosicles (the Traveller), who has just landed with his servant Messenio after "six years roaming about Istria, Hispania, Massylia, Ilyria, all the upper sea, all high Greece, all Haven Towns in Italy," is summoned by Erotium's servant to the dinner in place of his brother, the Citizen. The Traveller is then entrusted with a cloak, which the Citizen had pilfered from his wife, "Mulier," and given to Erotium, to take to the dyer's, and also a chain to the goldsmith's. Next Mulier is advised by Peniculus the parasite of Menechmus the Citizen to "bayt her husband for his life"; which she promptly proceeds to do. The Citizen, after a bad quarter of an hour, goes to Erotium to request that he may have the cloak again in order to appease his wife, but falls into the courtezan's bad graces also, and is accused of defrauding her both of the cloak and chain. In the last act, the wife meets Menechmus the Traveller with the cloak, and reviles him for an "impudent beast," and he, with some justice,