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Catalog of the Shakespeare Art Collection  --  Oil Paintings on Shakespearean Themes

#114 " DROMIOS: COMEDY OF ERRORS"
Description of Painting - Oil on canvas 22" x 25"
by Hannah Tompkins

 

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" We came into this world as brother and brother,
Now let's go hand in hand,
Not one before the other."      V.i.
So reads the inscription on the arched lintel over the gate.
It is the recognition and reunion scene between the two twin servants, united, like their masters, after a long separation since infancy.

They are seen matching palms before entering the gates to the abbey, dressed in the symbolic white of re-birth.
By a curious optical illusion, the hands may be viewed as a detached entity in a pose of prayer.

This is the first of the 'Lost & Found' themes that Shakespeare was to use in many of his later plays, where the reconciliation is effected by some miracle or divine intervention.

At the conclusion of this play not only are the twin brothers and their servants reunited, but also the mother and father, as they all retire into the abbey to relate their respective tales.

The psychic interpretation would be analogous to the human psyche; separated by storms and shipwrecks, then embarking on a search to find and reconcile the parts into one harmonious whole.

The typically Italian architecture in the background symbolizes this constellation of mind, heart and spirit, with its many domes and doors, windows and arches, some open, some closed.

Every being is itself a microcosmic universe whose unity conduces to the general harmony of the macrocosmic universe.

To "go hand in hand
as brothers is a noble human aspiration.

FIN


Copyright © 1990 Hannah Tompkins. All rights reserved.

 

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