Act Five: Hey, Abbott (er, make that Abbess)!

Act Five’s single scene brings all together.  The scene begins with Angelo and his creditor discussing the situation again.  AS and DS arrive, and after some confusion, the creditor draws his sword to arrest then and get the money owed to him.  AS and DS escape to sanctuary in the Priory (Abbey).  The Abbess comes out to see what is going on, and she questions the newly arrived Adriana on the social aspects of AS’s state… her initial finding is that Adriana is to blame: “The venom clamors of a jealous woman / Poisons more deadly than a mad dog’s tooth” (V.i.69-70), but she exits to tend to his madness with “wholesome syrups, drugs and holy prayers” (V.i.104).  Upon her exit, the Duke arrives with Egeon to oversee the Syracusian merchant’s execution.

Adriana pleads to the Duke to have Antipholus removed from the Abbey and then taken into protective custody so that his malady can be fixed.  The Duke calls for the Abbess to present herself, but before that can happen AE and DE return, having escaped from Dr. Pinch.  MWE* as the confusion builds, especially as Egeon recognizes AE and DE (as his own).  But when Egeon calls upon them for recognition (and possible monetary help–and therefore saving his life), he is rebuked and told they don’t recognize him.  M(ore)WE*, and then the Abbess brings forth AS and DS… Even M(ore)WE*.. and the Abbess recognizes Egeon as her husband, but not AE and DE (or AS and DS), and we learn why:  Within hours of being rescued by the Epidamnumians, “rude fishermen of Corinth” (V.i.351) stole the boys from her.

And then the story is pieced together:  Emilia came to Syracuse and became the Abbess.  The Duke’s uncle brought AE and DE from Corinth, and here in Ephesus they were raised. And all is sorted out: money is exchanged, husband and wife reunited, AS promises to “make good” (V.i.378) his protestations of love for Luciana, and the brothers brought together: “brother and brother; / And now let’s go hand in hand, not one before another” (V.i.428-9).

End of play, but not end of discussion.

OK, now that the play’s been read one time through for plot purposes, I’ll start the “deep-read”… and in the meantime, I’ll make the daily postings about random things about the play.

so, maybe not random: sources, settings, names, time, allusions

If you want to offer up suggestions for daily topics, add them in the comments of either today’s or any future entry.

After the “deep-read,” I’m going to spend time on different aspects and specific passages (so if you send suggestions, they’ll be added to the list… though I’m not sure we’re I’m going to be thinking far enough ahead to post a syllabus of future entries)… whaddayathink?

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