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date: 17 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

‘Bruis’d with Adversity: Reading Race in The Comedy of Errors’ examines the role of the body, and of the somatic mark in particular, in the social production of both individual subjects and racial groups. In The Comedy of Errors, two sets of twins experience the benefits as well as the pitfalls of mistaken identity, revealing the ease with which individuals may be grouped with others who merely share the same somatic markers, and the ease with which somatic markers may be stigmatized. The essay focuses on the treatment of the bruised bodies of the two servant/slaves, Dromio of Ephesus and Dromio of Syracuse, arguing that although the bruise is perceived as temporary, it is in fact experienced as an indelible somatic mark, endured from birth, and indicating both a moral and a social inferiority that is hereditary and insurmountable.

Keywords: race, somatic, mark, class, identity, bruise, pain, twins

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