I to the world am like a drop of water
That in the ocean seeks another drop...
So I, to find a mother and a brother,
In quest of them, unhappy, lose myself.
~ Antipholus of Syracuse, I.2
Imagine growing up knowing you have a twin sibling somewhere in the world that you have never met. Would you set out across the globe in search of your other half? How would this change your perspective of yourself?
Antipholus of Syracuse is having difficulty defining himself. His quest to find his family defines who he is, at least until people begin behaving as though he is his brother – which redefines him as husband, landowner, and business associate of several local merchants. His mind reels at these new discoveries, but his incredulity is surpassed by his curiosity, and his growing love for Luciana.
While the situation is outrageous, this sort of thing happens more than one might think – people find out that they’re adopted, or that they have siblings they’ve never met. Antipholus is not only having trouble with his identity because his perception changed, but also because he is recognized as someone else in a strange land. He is carried away with everyone else’s clear idea of who he is instead of his own troubled concept of identity.
How do you define yourself – by your interests? By your relationships to others? In what ways do you allow other people’s perception of you to define who you are?
Next: Farce and Violence