ABSTRACT

This article examines Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors from an oceanic perspective, and explores how the play juxtaposes and interrogates home and the sea. Such an oceanic perspective requires not only a critical reassessment but also new approaches. Shakespeare gives his Mediterranean Sea a contemporary feel and raises questions about the extent to which the sea erases boundaries and shapes or challenges our sense of identity. Syracuse and Ephesus, rival merchant city-states, retaliate against each other in the play, and attempt to demarcate boundaries of influence and control. The members of Egeon's family, separated and set adrift by shipwreck, become migrants and refugees in a hostile world. In its own way, the play raises the matter of human stewardship of and impact on a maritime environment. In contested space of the Mediterranean, Shakespeare interrogates the place of home and identity.

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