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  • Writer's pictureDeric Hollings

Comedy of Errors


According to a source, in regards to The Comedy of Errors, one of William Shakespeare’s early plays, “In the centuries following its premiere, the play’s title has entered the popular English lexicon as an idiom for ‘an event or series of events made ridiculous by the number of errors that were made throughout.”


Admittedly not a familiar with much of Shakespeare’s work, I turn to the too long; didn’t read (TL;DR) synopsis of the play. Per one source:


TL;DR (may contain spoilers): Antiphonus searches for his long lost identical twin brother, Antiphonus, while his servant, Dromio, searches for his long lost identical twin brother, Dromio. Shenanigans ensue.


Despite my unfamiliarity with the play, I’ve heard the phrase “comedy of errors” throughout my life as representing a situation made amusing by bungling and incompetence. Often, when discussing sociopolitical matters with my close friend, Jammies, I use humor as a method of effectively dealing with uncomfortable situations (coping).


Jammies knows of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), as do most of the people in my inner circle, and she’s expressed understanding about my practice of unconditional acceptance. Because I have so little influence or control over most matters in life, laughing at absurdity helps me endure the bungling and incompetence of people tasked to address complex problems.


In 2014, hip hop group Ugly Heroes—comprised of producer Apollo Brown and lyricists Verbal Kent and Chris Orrick—released an extended play joint entitled Ugly Heroes EP which contained a song called “Naysayers & Playmakers” on which Verbal Kent states:


Listen, you gotta have a sense of humor in this comedy of errors, ‘cause last laughs mean nothing man, nobody cares.

In this regard, “gotta” relates to a should, must, or ought-type imperative. When working with clients, I listen closely to irrational beliefs which often manifest in the form of statements such as these.


However, not all should, must, ought to, gotta (got to), have to, or other such declarations are unhelpful, unhealthy, or unproductive. For instance, if person X tells me, “Deric, you shouldn’t laugh at errors made by others,” person X has erred by projecting upon me a morality-based demand.


I may not share person X’s moral code, so I can simply dismiss the unsolicited advisement. On the other hand, if I’m not paying attention when crossing a street and person X yells, “Deric, you ought to pay attention, because you almost got hit by that bus,” person X’s insistence closely aligns with my goal of self-preservation.


In “Naysayers & Playmakers,” Verbal Kent appears to be offering advice to others by encouraging people to maintain a “sense of humor in this comedy of errors.” Though I imagine a number of people will disagree with his appeal, some individuals may appreciate the instruction.


If person X is in the former group, merely shrugging off the unsolicited guidance can occur. After all, there’s no reason to self-disturb about how Verbal Kent’s gotta keep his prescriptions to himself.


What sense would it make to declare that people shouldn’t issue should-based demands? Basically, using similar moralizing behavior to critique moralizing actions of those who moralize to others seems to comport with a comedy of the errors.


Let us then laugh at the shenanigans created within our minds and continue about our lives, rather than deceiving ourselves with unhelpful beliefs about events, thus resulting in unpleasant consequences. Truly, this is what Jammies and I have both agreed to do when observing unfortunate events associated with bungling and incompetence.


If you’re looking for a provider who works to help you understand how thinking impacts physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral elements of your life, I invite you to reach out today by using the contact widget on my website.


As the world’s foremost old school hip hop REBT psychotherapist, I’m pleased to help people with an assortment of issues from anger (hostility, rage, and aggression) to relational issues, adjustment matters, trauma experience, justice involvement, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and depression, and other mood or personality-related matters.


At Hollings Therapy, LLC, serving all of Texas, I aim to treat clients with dignity and respect while offering a multi-lensed approach to the practice of psychotherapy and life coaching. My mission includes: Prioritizing the cognitive and emotive needs of clients, an overall reduction in client suffering, and supporting sustainable growth for the clients I serve. Rather than simply helping you to feel better, I want to help you get better!



Deric Hollings, LPC, LCSW



References:


Bandcamp. (n.d.). Ugly Heroes EP. Retrieved from https://apollobrown360.bandcamp.com/album/ugly-heroes-ep

ClassicShiit. (2014, July 17). Ugly Heroes - Naysayers & Playmakers (Apollo Brown, Verbal Kent & Red Pill) [Video]. YouTube. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/r5xMACrdW8A

Enriquez, A. (2021, October 25). Q. How does fair use work for book covers, album covers, and movie posters? Penn State. Retrieved from https://psu.libanswers.com/faq/336502

Folger Shakespeare Library. (n.d.). The Comedy of Errors. Retrieved from https://www.folger.edu/explore/shakespeares-works/the-comedy-of-errors/read/

Hollings, D. (2022, May 17). Circle of concern. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/circle-of-concern

Hollings, D. (2022, October 31). Demandingness. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/demandingness

Hollings, D. (2022, October 5). Description vs. prescription. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/description-vs-prescription

Hollings, D. (2022, March 15). Disclaimer. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/disclaimer

Hollings, D. (n.d.). Hollings Therapy, LLC [Official website]. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/

Hollings, D. (2023, May 18). Irrational beliefs. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/irrational-beliefs

Hollings, D. (2023, March 20). Practice. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/practice

Hollings, D. (2022, March 25). Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT). Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/rational-emotive-behavior-therapy-rebt

Hollings, D. (2022, November 1). Self-disturbance. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/self-disturbance

Hollings, D. (2022, October 7). Should, must, and ought. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/should-must-and-ought

Hollings, D. (2022, July 11). Unconditional acceptance. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/unconditional-acceptance

Hollings, D. (2023, May 12). Use of humor. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/use-of-humor

Last.fm. (n.d.). Ugly Heroes. Retrieved from https://www.last.fm/music/Ugly+Heroes/+wiki

Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. (n.d.). The Comedy of Errors. Retrieved from https://www.shakespeare.org.uk/explore-shakespeare/shakespedia/shakespeares-plays/comedy-of-errors/

Wikipedia. (n.d.). Apollo Brown. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_Brown

Wikipedia. (n.d.). Chris Orrick. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Orrick

Wikipedia. (n.d.). The Comedy of Errors. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Comedy_of_Errors

Wikipedia. (n.d.). Verbal Kent. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verbal_Kent

Wikipedia. (n.d.). William Shakespeare. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Shakespeare%27s

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