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com/2008/06/05/filipino-essay-what-is-an-educated-filipino/ Shakespeare's Fools: Launce and Speed in The Two Gentlemen of Verona From The Fools of Shakespeare by Frederick Warde. London: McBride, Nast & company. There seems to be little doubt but that the comedy of "The Two Gentlemen of Verona" was one of the earliest of the poet's dramatic works. There is no authentic record of its first presentation, but it is the general impression among the commentators that it occurred in 1591 or 1592. Sidney Lee, probably the most accurate and reliable authority on Shakespeareana, places it second in order of production. It was not printed in the author's lifetime, nor was it published till it was included in the First Folio edition of collected plays that appeared in 1623, seven years after the poet's death. There is a crude conventionality in the construction of the plot, inexperience in the development of the characters, and immaturity in its deductive philosophy. These conditions confirm the view-point taken above, and are entirely consistent with the known facts. Shakespeare was at this time but twenty-seven years of age, had been in London but six or seven years, and though study and observation had given him some idea of dramatic composition, it was on conventional lines only; experience had not yet developed his powers or given him any marked individuality. Mrs. Cowden Clarke goes so far as to suggest that the comedy was probably one of the MSS. that Shakespeare took with him to London. This is disproved, I think, by his references in the play to historical and mythological characters, with which he would hardly be familiar before his advent into the metropolis. I doubt if Shakespeare did any literary work of a dramatic character before he went to London. It was his association with a company of professional actors, in a varied repertory of plays, with the environment of a regularly equipped theater, that revealed to him the possibilities of the drama, inspired his ambition, and developed his genius. There is no originality in the story of "The Two Gentlemen of Verona," nor in any of the incidents of the comedy. The characters are but prototypes of those which appear, elaborated and completed, in his later plays, after experience had matured his powers and given him a deeper insight into human nature. This is particularly true of Launce and Speed, the two clownish servants in the comedy, who are reproduced as the two Dromios, in "The Comedy of Errors"; as Peter, in "Romeo and Juliet," and as Launcelot Gobbo, in "The Merchant of Venice"; but with far more consistency of purpose and detail of character. Launce and Speed are servants: born to serve, contented to serve, with little or no ambition beyond it. They are personal attendants on Valentine and Proteus, two young noblemen, and accompany their respective masters on their travels, obeying their orders without question, accepting their wages with satisfaction, and submitting upon occasion to personal chastisement without resentment. They are young, full of humor, and fond of mischief. Their humor they exercise upon their masters, when they can do so with safety, and indulge in their mischief between themselves. Both are shrewd and keenly observant, particularly of the foibles and weaknesses of their masters. Speed is at times exuberant; Launce, who is apparently the elder, is more thoughtful and sententious, and with the egotism of a little learning patronizes and reproves the youth and ignorance of his comrade. Launce has some sentimentality in his nature which is shown in his affection for his dog. Crab, and his grief (not wholly unaffected) at the parting from his family. Launce does not, however, permit that sentimentality to affect his material interests at any time, or even influence his considerations in the selection of a wife. Both have the punning habit
to an abnormal degree, and vie with each other in amphibolous repartee. Of the two, Launce has the keener wit and deeper philosophy. He is also more resourceful when occasion demands; witness, his prompt acceptance of the punishment that had been imposed on his "ungentlemanlike" dog. Crab, which would have ended the career of that canine; and the substitution of the same ill-bred cur for the "little jewel" he was commissioned to carry to Mistress Sylvia, which had been stolen from him by the boys in the market-place. Speed is the first of these two worthies to appear in the play. It is in the first scene of the first act, and in his second speech he begins a corruption of words in a succession of the most atrocious puns and ingenious transliterations, that positively appall by their audacity: and he continues it throughout the scene. The play on the words. Ship and sheep, pound and pinfold, and the evolution from a nod of the head, and the exclamation "ay" to the word "Noddy," fully justifies the term Proteus applies to it, "silly." In fact, there is but one bit of repartee in the entire dialogue worthy of note: Proteus exclaims with obvious sarcasm: "Beshrew me, but you have a quick wit," to which Speed, who has been unable to extract a gratuity from him, replies: "And yet it cannot overtake your slow purse." The dialogue in Act 2, Scene 1, between Speed and Sir Valentine, is in the same vein as in the first act; but Speed seems to have some advantage in it, for travel appears to have sharpened the wit of the servant, while love has dulled the spirit of the master. In Speed there is evidence of more observation both of incidents and circumstances; a clearer and brighter expression of ideas, combined with a shrewdness that approaches wisdom, especially in his reflections on Sir Vallentine's love-lorn condition; while there is a dimness of comprehension that amounts almost to density in the lack of understanding displayed by his master. Speed's critical philosophy, however, never permits him to lose sight of the demands of his stomach, or the perquisites of his position. This scene is so admirable in its commingling of humor and satire, that I quote it at length: Val. Why, how know you that I am in love? Speed. Marry, by these special marks. First, you have learn'd, like Sir Proteus, to wreath your arms, like a malcontent; to relish a love-song, like a robin redbreast; to walk alone, like one that had the pestilence; to sigh, like a schoolboy that had lost his A B C; to weep, like a young wench that had buried her grandam; to fast, like one that takes diet; to watch, like one that fears robbing; to speak puling, like a beggar at Hallowmas. You were wont, when you laugh'd, to crow like a cock; when you walk'd, to walk like one of the lions; when you fasted, it was presently after dinner; when you look'd sadly, it was for want of money; and now you are metamorphosed with a mistress, that, when I look on you, I can hardly think you are my master. Val. Are all these things perceived in me? Speed. They are all perceived without ye. ... These follies are within you, and shine through you like the water ... that not an eye that sees you, but is a physician to comment on your malady. Later, in the same scene the dialogue is noteworthy, and again illustrates the shrewd observance of Speed, and the privilege of speech permitted him by his master. Speed. You never saw her since she was deform'd. Val. How long hath she been deform'd? Speed. Ever since you loved her. Val. I have loved her ever since I saw her, and still I see her beautiful.
the lady of Sir Valentine's love." Sir Valentine. attempts a reproof. And that letter hath she deliver'd. That's the letter I writ to her friend. she hath given you a letter. and Speed's meaning. who has realized the full significance of the lady's device. He being her pupil. Sir Valentine stands in speechless astonishment. boy. Val. when you chid at Sir Proteus for going ungartered! Val." a "secret nameless friend. What should I see then? Speed. being in love. Speed. however. who thereupon returns it to the writer. but Speed. looks bewildered and stands in great perplexity . Sylvia has apparently commissioned Sir Valentine to write some appropriate lines for her to ''one she loves. which makes me the bolder to chide you for yours. abruptly takes her leave with considerable show of anger. and the lady. sir. Val. you swinged me for my love. Sir Valentine. she hath not writ to me? Speed. inscrutable. for last morning you could not see to wipe my shoes. declares: Val. and Speed is a most attentive observer and listener to the interview between the lover and the lady. Because Love is blind. probably realizing the truth of Speed's remarks. O! that you had mine eyes. now comes upon the scene. does not appreciate her meaning. O excellent device! was there ever heard a better. Sir Valentine. to himself should write the letter. then you are in love. I would it were no worse! . which. however. for he. No. What need she when she hath made you write to yourself? Why. to become her tutor." Sir Valentine. Speed. Speed. still oblivious to the lady's design. cannot see to put on your hose. Your own present folly. and she hath taught her suitor. Belike. pointedly exclaiming: "They are for you. having written the lines. True. could not see to garter his hose. Why. Why? Speed. do you not perceive the jest? Val. Val. or your own eyes had the lights they were wont to have. you cannot see her. I was in love with my bed. As a nose on a man's face. in the form of a letter. now delivers it to the lady. does not faze his irrepressible follower: Val. invisible. Why. and there an end. and her passing deformity. That my master being scribe. exclaims: O jest unseen. disappointed at his lack of comprehension. being in love. believe me. and you. If you love her.Speed. Mistress Sylvia. and finding no adequate reply. I thank you. or a weathercock on a steeple! My master sues to her.
he makes the following concrete summary: Another shade of mental obtuseness and imbecility has been exhibited by the poet in the character of Launce. Or fearing else some messenger. So the dog Crab. would suffice to make either a courtier of the one. One can easily understand that Crab's failure to appreciate the importance of the journey. This shoe with a hole in it. is my mother. the clown par excellence. Herself hath taught her love himself to write unto her lover. O. while the dog. and a staff as representatives of the family of the Launces. it is so. in modesty. that the reader must be dull indeed who cannot see the scene enacted before his eyes: the weeping women. this left shoe is my mother: .Speed." to serve a particular purpose. so Speed. Or else for want of idle time. The close companionship which exists between him and his interesting dog. Nay. our cat wringing her hands.. be moved. Kellogg. I have received my proportion." but Speed requires a more substantial diet than love. having no eyes. sir. why. stolidly watches the entire proceedings with a bored expression of canine indifference. my sister crying.now come I to my mother. the cur that nature made him. my grandam. so. The misuse of the words "prodigious" and "perplexity" has a most familiar sound. at Utica. it hath the worser sole. as with all of Shakespeare's characters. unmoved.) . but see how I lay the dust with my tears. and would fain have meat. . (O. no. and the pathos of parting with such a family is a source of great disappointment to his master. nor speaks a word. the dog is himself. and no education or change of circumstances or condition could make him otherwise. I think Crab my dog be the sourest-natured dog that lives: my mother weeping. and the "perplexed" household. like a wood woman. 'tis as well: For often have you writ to her. while the domestic drama played with a pair of old shoes. and I am myself.. his sentiments. a hat. his mental. and we can scarcely conceive that even the cultivation of three generations . Sir Valentine is still perplexed. and has no more pity in him than a dog: a Jew would have wept to have seen our parting: why. Father. like the prodigious son. The clown is such by natural organization. and she. that might her mind discover. our maid howling. he weeps on: . with much humor and. show you the manner of it: This shoe is my father. for. and I am the dog. sentimental and social status is at once established.no. yet did not this cruel-hearted cur shed one tear: he is a stone. now should I kiss my father. your blessing. look you. sir: Though the chameleon Love can feed on air. now should not the shoe speak a word for weeping. I'll warrant you. is . the constant companion of the boy. O I be not like your mistress: be moved. now come I to my sister. in "The Two Gentlemen of Verona. a very pebble-stone. A vengeance on't: there 't is : now. gives us an introduction to them as effectively as if we had met them all in person. A. no. I am one that am nourish' d by my victuals. she is as white as a lily.that cannot be so neither: yes. it is so.no. but is a product of Nature's own handiwork. or "a . the howling maid. Now come I to my father.." Sir Valentine replies: "I have dined.. and am going with Sir Proteus to the imperial's court. 'twill be this hour ere I have done weeping: all the kind of the Launces have this very fault. seeing it impossible to make the matter clear. Crab. and concludes the scene with the following most earnestly delivered protest: "Ay. here's my mother's breath up and down. mark the moan she makes: now the dog all this while sheds not a tear. still none the less genuine. of the State Lunatic Asylum. New York. this staff is my sister. there't is. wept herself blind at my parting. the dog is me. is evidently one based upon a moral and intellectual fitness in the characters of the two.O. look you. by whom he is accompanied. The episode is described with so much delightful originality of expression and humorous detail. and as small as a wand: this hat is Nan. but hearken." that distinguished alienist places Launce among the imbeciles. this left shoe is my father. the wailing father. ay. and his dog Crab. Nay. and all our house in great perplexity." Launce does not appear till the third scene of the second act. he cannot see the jest. to provide humor for his clowns and serving-men. entitled "Shakespeare's Delineations of Insanity. and if not the most cunning. one of "Nature's journey-men. In an interesting work by Dr. and by way of preface to an able analysis of the character.well. my father wailing. so. well. when he introduces himself. . our maid. in which is included Crab. I am the dog: . and Suicide. I kiss her. and may be readily recognized as a favorite comedy device of the poet." Launce is not a character manufactured by the playwright. suggests: "'Tis dinner time. Imbecility. and this my father. could not again reply. that she could speak now.
Mr. which included a mild reproach of Crab's lack of sympathy. your "yaller dog. It would have puzzled the most experienced dog fancier to name his breed or trace his ancestry. The poodle or spaniel .. and the nature of the relationship is nowhere so admirably depicted as by the poet in his delineations of Launce and his dog Crab. and listened to his detailed description of the parting of the family of the Launces as if. the cur by his side. Crab received even a more cordial greeting than his popular master. The grim-looking. foxhunting squire. and enacted the domestic scene described in the text with a droll humor that the audience found irresistible..." is found at the heels of the clown. when they appear upon the stage. who sat upon his haunches. In reference to the habit of punning. The dignified mastiff and gentlemanly Newfoundland. in "Macbeth. for a more complete specimen of a "low-down cur" I never saw. in "Romeo and Juliet". which is one of the characteristics of Launce. the Grave-diggers. in "Hamlet". who seems to be a combination of the evil qualities of all these. become frightened by the glare of the footlights." "The Two Gentlemen of Verona" is unfortunately seldom presented on the stage. but also by the characters of inferior rank and humble station in his tragedies: notably. for everything he did was worthy of memory: but the picture of the dog. The gaunt hound is found in the train of the active. Augustin Daly made a production of the comedy in his series of Shakespearean revivals at Daly's Theater. You'll lose the tide. As I have stated in the preface. or fountain on the scene. Lewis. How completely Shakespeare realized this condition is evidenced. but Mr. and petted companion of my lady. I distinctly remember his first appearance on the scene. Launce began his first speech. is indelibly impressed on my mind. and the memory of that frowsy cur that was such an appropriate companion to his master. and the drunker Porter. but this dog that played Crab was absolutely oblivious to his surroundings. The spirits of the two are so "married in conjunction" by mutual intercourse. Lewis' manipulation of the shoes. as a currish clown. harmless and characteristic. Most animals. is the combed. It is amusing. but it made no impression on the cur: he then led the dog to the base of a statue. in "The Grand Duchess. that the one has come to conduct himself in all companies. to which I have before alluded in this article. as well as to the same practice by similar characters in previous chapters. some years ago. in "Julius Caesar". The property man who had procured the dog for the production had been most fortunate in his selection. I again quote Dr. that concludes the scene is another capital illustration of the quality of wit possessed by Launce. fighting bulldog is found at the heels of the bully and prize-fighter. and the other as a clownish cur. looked at Mr. Crab. nothing seems to furnish a more correct index to his character than the species of the canine race which he selects as his companions. tempts me again to quote Dr. Kellogg: Next to the human associates whom a man takes into his confidence. the Citizens. washed. seated himself on the steps. vigorous. guard ." he had always been taught "to observe an impassive countenance. not only by the countrymen and clowns in his comedies. Kellogg: His humorous punning and play upon words is also quite characteristic. ." I regret that I cannot remember more of the performance of Mr. New York.. and shows that this faculty may be possessed in quite an eminent degree by those of very inferior mental caliber.gentleman-like dog" of the other. Peter. the stately banker. . but while the latter acknowledged the compliment gracefully. with an expression of extreme disgust on his face. I do not presume to differentiate between folly and imbecility. if you tarry any longer. and while I cannot recall the entire performance in detail. but the cur. like Launce.. James Lewis played Launce. Pan. leading his dog Crab by a cord. and startled by any applause that may come from the audience. He came upon the stage slowly. like Baron Grog. the dog looked on with complete indifference as if the entire proceedings bored him. The play upon the words "tide" and "tied" in the brief dialogue with Panthino.. I quote the foregoing as the indorsement of a scientist to the accuracy of the poet's conception and treatment of the character. but it had no effect on Crab.
It is no matter if the tied were lost. my dog. And her demerits: She is not to be kissed fasting. He is in love. She is curst. but is marked by the same quality of wit to which I have before referred." Launce is a man of method and has carefully collated both the virtues and vices of the lady. The merits of the lady are set down somewhat as follows: She can fetch and carry. and what I do too: look thee. however. The name of the lady is withheld. She is slow in words. but we are frankly informed of "The cate-log of her conditions. he that's tied here.Launce. Scene 5. I understand thee not. is entirely occupied by a dialogue between Launce and Speed. not who 'tis I love. We have his own admission of the fact. She hath many nameless virtues. and more faults than hairs. She hath a sweet mouth. Why. She can knit. and yet 'tis a woman: but what woman. Crab. What a block art thou. She hath more hair than wit. and set them down in a sort of debtor and creditor arrangement. I'll but lean. What's the unkindest tide? Launce. Why. for it is the unkindest tied that ever any man tied. the privilege of making the final decision himself. She can milk. Speed. indeed. The scene does not advance the plot or develop the characters. She brews good ale. In the first scene of act third a new phase of the character of Launce is developed. a brief example of which will suffice. She can wash and scour. She doth talk in her sleep. She is proud. . She hath no teeth. Launce. She will often praise her liquor. stand-under and under-stand is all one. Launce. of Act 2. She can spin." Launce does not give us his reasons for the secrecy that he so ingeniously negatives. She can sew. Pan. that thou canst not. I will not tell myself. reserving. and yet 'tis a milkmaid. My staff understands me. and my staff understands me. but on a convenient opportunity submits to the judgment of his friend Speed. with the addenda: "But a team of horse shall not pluck that from me. which he not only carefully considers himself. It stands under thee. She is liberal. What thou sayest? Launce. but this is again negatived by his subsequent interview with Speed. and we might attribute it to the bashful modesty of a lover. and more wealth than faults. Ay. Speed. Speed.
finally permits the possession of money to be the deciding factor in his choice." Scene 4 of Act 4 in the comedy brings the charactor of Launce to its conclusion. I carried Mistress Sylvia the dog you bade me. By the irony of fate. in the method of selecting a wife as affected by Launce. whose name by the way appears to be a misnomer. Pro. wealth appears to have been a cloak whose ample folds are sufficient to cover a multitude of vices. I'll after. as Speed reads the "catelog" to him. however humble his station in life. Launce knows this. Marry. but be governed by the feelings of his heart. there is a good deal of sound common sense. and Launce entertains us with a most diverting account of the dog's misdeeds and his own selfsacrifice in the cur's behalf. Pro. love of mischief. To appreciate thoroughly the humor of the scene. And what says she to my little jewel? . With Launce. Launce loses the little jewel. for later we learn that the boy has voluntarily taken upon himself both the blame and the punishment for the sins of his dog Crab. Sir Proteus. and taken a whipping to save that ill-bred cur from the consequences of his "ungentleman-like conduct" at the Duke's table. and his "old vice" of punning is sustained to the last. and his apparent indecision a mere device to detain the already dilatory Speed. and in this dilemma substitutes his own dog Crab. or the evidence was presented. This would seem to indicate that the milkmaid with her "cate-log of conditions" is pure imagination on the part of Launce. whose anger on learning the details of the adventure may be better imagined than described. and out of sheer mischief. The solo and exit speech of Launce on the hasty departure of Speed. to deliver "a little jewel" of a dog to Mistress Sylvia as a present. and considerably diminish the congestion in our courts of law. The explanation of Launce is characteristic of the boy. but I shrewdly suspect that the decision of the judge had been made before the trial began. accentuates the view: "Now will he be swing'd for reading my letter. Crab seems to be the factor in his master's undoing. Now it is but reasonable to assume that a man. as he inferentially admits. that might be adopted with advantage by some of our modern young men who so heedlessly assume the responsibilities of marriage. for though she have "more faults than hairs" her wealth was all powerful "to make the faults gracious. "stood in the pillory for geese he hath killed". who would sacrifice himself so completely for the sake of a dumb animal. might avert many an unhappy marriage. to think that the affectation of prudence was another of the practical jests of this exuberant youth with his friend Speed. that he himself concocted the "cate-log. to rejoice in the boy's correction. The virtues he appreciates at their practical value. that will thrust himself into secrets. his selection would not be influenced by wealth alone. and however mercenary he might assume to be. He hath "sat in the stocks for puddings he hath stolen"." I am very much inclined. and returns a most sarcastic response to the advances of the amorous Sir Proteus. Be that as it may. sir. Crab seems to be as incorrigible as impenitent. Speed. An unmannerly slave. A little more prudence and consideration of their respective qualifications for what should be a life-long union. the vices he ingeniously transforms into virtues. however. The lady indignantly rejects such a present. rather than by the calculations of his head. is detaining him. Launce has been commissioned by his master. and like many in real life of far greater social and intellectual pretensions. would have some sentimentality in the choice of a wife. is waited for by his master at the north gate of the city. even if it was assumed." and the entire matter had its existence only in the vivid and picturesque imagination of our friend Launce. I commend the reader to a full perusal of the same in the play itself.One can easily imagine the sapient and judicial air assumed by Launce. while his humor. Where have you been these two days loitering? Launce. The brief dialogue concluding the scene bears out the above suggestion.
in date of composition. Pro. one house. His old love for her returns. She delivers him by her skill in archery and discovers that he is Don Felix. express the hope that an indulgent master forgave the exuberant humor of his youthful servant. enters the service of Felix in order to be near him. Felismena maintains her disguise as the page Valerius. Possibly. and is angrily dismissed from his presence. with a preference for 1591-1593. Then Felix disappears and people suppose him dead of grief. The Two Gentlemen of Verona is indebted to the story of Felismena as told in the Diana Enamoradaof Jorge de Montemayor. What. Poor Launce narrowly escapes the whip at the hands of his outraged master. It is placed by the critics at various dates between 1591 and 1595. the love story is both the chief interest and the thread which binds all the incidents together. The future of the boy is left to our conjecture. the colors of the lady Celia. Next day she sees him at Court. and therefore the gift the greater. Pro. On her first night in the city and before she has sought Felix out. and tells you. What makes it likely thatThe Two Gentlemen of Verona is. Ay. and learns from her hostess that he is openly paying his addresses to this lady. She was wooed by a neighbor. first printed in the folio of 1623. didst thou offer her this from me? Launce. and when she cannot move him dies of unrequited love. In the Diana Felismena is a maiden destined by Venus and Minerva to be unfortunate in love. did she not: here have I brought him back again. and the decrease in the tendency to quibble and to overemphasize speech at the expense of action show that The Two Gentlemen of Verona followedLove's Labour's Lost. After a time she chances upon a knight in the forest." The Two Gentlemen of Verona . we have a play evidently written for the public stage. This outline of the original story shows that when Shakespeare wrote The Two Gentlemen of Verona he had . to share in his own felicity so completely expressed in the concluding lines of the comedy. but an English manuscript was in circulation from 1582.Early Experimentation in Plotting From The Development of Shakespeare as a Dramatist by George Pierce Baker. indeed. but mentioned by Meres in hisPalladis Tamia in 1598. and permitted Launce and his dog Crab. Let us. No. and gave him her love after much affected scorn. but successful in war. with possibly the lady Launce has chosen. she says. Felismena in despair becomes a shepherdess. one mutual happiness. Marry. too. The slight advance. and she forgives the past. closely related to Love's Labour's Lost. and carries his tokens and messages to Celia with earnest pleadings of her own for the happiness of her false iover. the other squirrel was stolen from me by the hangman's boys in the market-place: and then I offered her mine own. New York: Macmillan. as we shall see in a moment. His father discovered their love and sent Felix to Court to prevent the match. however. hard pressed by three foes. a splendid figure in white and yellow. This book was not printed in English till 1598. But she received my dog? Launce. its advance beyond Love's Labour's Lost in technique is not great. your dog was a cur. Shakespeare knew and used a play acted before the Queen in 1584 entitled Felix and Philiomena. Thither Felismena followed him disguised as a page. In The Two Gentlemen of Verona. is that in it. Don Felix. waxes warm to Valerius. Celia. still cold to Felix. too. however. currish thanks is good enough for such a present.Launce. she hears him passionately serenading some Court lady in the same street in which she lodges. "One feast. sir. Did he lose his place? Did his master restore him to favor? and did he wed the lady whose qualifications were the source of so much careful calculation? The author does not tell us. and that. who is a dog as big as ten of yours.
and Julia. shows us Silvia arranging with Eglamour to aid her escape from Milan in search of Valentine. and shows especially well the sharp contrasting of serious and comic which Shakespeare delighted in at this time. however. Silvia to Julia. and the place of Thurio in the story. He would have done all this in at most three scenes a few years later: one. and therefore frankly opposes Valentine to Proteus. Thurio. but really schemes only for his own ends. To meet this desire. The movement in these two acts is still closely akin to the slow movement of Love's Labour's Lost. It takes this dramatist. It is. He has discerned one of the permanent essentials of dramatic composition. he seems to favor Sir Thurio's plan in regard to Silvia. It is. It is the serenade of Silvia by Thurio. as now. the love of Valentine for Silvia. The second scene of this act shows us more perfidy on the part of Proteus when. points forward to scenes seemingly sure to result because Julia now knows that Proteus is false to her. to bring the first three together at the Court. but also Valentine. Scene 3. Moreover. Act III. and her charming interview with Silvia. however. showing the planning of Julia with Lucetta to leave Verona and go to the Court in search of Proteus. one preceding scene for Launce and Speed. sure that there. He feels strongly now the value of contrast in drama. only shows us Eglamour and Silvia leaving Milan. the perfidy of Proteus as he counsels Valentine to flee. that the Elizabethan audience of the public theatres liked a crowded and complicated story. the very complicated relations of the four young people will be worked out. to state the relations of Proteus. however. who by 1596 at latest has gained a wonderful combination of swiftness and clearness in opening his plays. Scene 4. and the amusing dialogue of Speed and Launce. including some ten scenes. agreeing to be false to Valentine. the sudden infatuation of Proteus for her. Sometimes he even splits a scene midway. to get this sort of contrast. In the fourth act the first scene simply shows us the taking of Valentine by the outlaws and their choice of him as captain. In Scene 2 the Duke. [See the opening scene of Romeo and Juliet] two acts. Valentine. From the beginning of Act III the play moves with constantly increasing suspense for the spectator. still disguised as a page. Even it. and to introduce us to Launce and Speed. his whole treatment of it proves that he is yet at the beginning of the acquirement of his technique. then. There follow the dramatic banishment of Valentine by the Duke. but the use of this suspense proves that Shakespeare could not yet handle it perfectly. and Eglamour. Shakespeare provides not only the figures of the purely comic scenes. But though he provides more material for his proposed plot. Silvia. Now but one scene is left in which to unravel all the complications and satisfy at last our long suspense. Proteus basely betrays to the Duke the secret of Valentine's love for Silvia. in his exposition and plotting that he is weakest. Julia. Scene 1. to prepare us for the coming of the fourth. a transitional scene preparing us for complications to follow. again transitional. but as yet his art is not sufficient to conceal his methods. The very brief third scene shows the capture of Silvia by the outlaws. contrast. discovering the flight. gives us the second strongly human scene of the play in the talk between Proteus and Julia. Taking a hint from a portion of the story which he discards. as characters. Yet this complication of the relations of Silvia. in Milan at the Duke's palace. moves with relative swiftness. it urges us on to the other acts in order that we may know the outcome of the complications for Valentine and of the perfidy of Proteus. after the opening between Launce and his dog. merely transitional. and Proteus reaches no settlement in the act and we turn to the fifth. now Scene 4 of Act II. Scene 1. the latter a kind of preliminary sketch for the scene of Viola and Olivia in Twelfth Night. as in the first scene of Act I. and alternates his scenes of pure exposition or of emotion with scenes of comedy. . in a series of dramatic scenes or in one long scene. In Act III. he adds the outlaw scenes. contains at least one good dramatic situation. and a longer scene. where the coming of Proteus to the Court would bring out clearly his previous relations with Valentine and Julia. Proteus. namely. Scene 2 is probably the most human and charming of the play.waked to a fact constantly demonstrated by his later plays. starts with Proteus and Thurio in pursuit. and the musicians which the lovelorn Julia watches from her hiding-place.
that my love may appear plain and free. he had. has found Silvia and is trying to force his love upon her. Does not the young Shakespeare's omission of Celia's fatal love for the disguised Felismena suggest that. who is accompanied by the faithful Julia. Now I dare not say I have one friend alive. Valentine: if hearty sorrow Be a sufficient ransom for an offence. The private wound is deepest. when the closing in of the afternoon at last drives him to bay. feeling sure comedy must end pleasantly. in Twelfth Night. he can neither proportion nor develop firmly the story he has complicated nor properly satisfy the suspense which he has created.Could there be a more complete confession of dramatic ineptitude than that last scene? It fails to do everything for which we have been looking. however. After all these startling surprises. Yet this is his weak handling of the situation : Valentine. I tender 't here: I do as truly suffer As e'er I did commit. Here. I give thee. as in Love's Labour's Lost. or by prolonging the play of emotion between Proteus and Silvia. time most accursed. then. thou would 'st disprove me. he gets out of his difficulties in the swiftest possible fashion. That touch came simply to motivate the sudden swooning of Julia at the news. when one's right hand Is perjured to the bosom? Proteus. Is it not clear that in this scene the momentary effect. It is hard enough to believe that Valentine would forgive so promptly. perhaps one is ready to agree to Julia's glad acceptance of the changeable affections of so worthless a person as Proteus. but that he would go as far as to offer to yield up Silvia is preposterous. that Shakespeare can now do far more in characterization than he had in Love's Labour's Lost. and a delicate contrast of grave and gay. Then I am paid. on the reappearance of Valentine. Shakespeare passes swiftly over the graver . overhearing. My shame and guilt confounds me. still disguised as a page. I am sorry I must never trust thee more. Shakespeare finds in just this complication not only the cause for much amusement. an opportunity for a strong scene in which the play and interplay of the feelings of the four characters might lead at last to a happy solution. By penitence the Eternal wrath's appeased : And. In it. Forgive me. Yet the same play proves that. But count the world a stranger for thy sake. 'Mongst all foes that friends should be the worst! Proteus. bursts forth and denounces his friend. Is nor of heaven nor earth. but with complete sacrifice of good dramatic art. after communing with himself in a way that foreshadows the banished Duke in As You Like It. If Shakespeare did not wish to "hold" the scene of the avowal of his love by Proteus through letting Julia take some part in it. Only a little less absurd is the sudden swerve into rightmindedness of Proteus when Julia has revealed herself. mean far more to the dramatist than truth to life and probability? Having lured his audience on by writing scenes which constantly promised complicated action ahead. and in Scenes 2 and 4 of Act IV. he did not as yet see how to keep the amusing complication without letting it strike far too serious a note and end fatally? A few years later. for these are pleased. but much poetry. Proteus. All that was mine in Silvia. Who should be trusted now. the rich possibilities of his material. Valentine. his medium of expression is gradually changing its mannered literary quality for genuine dramatic effectiveness. In The Two Gentlemen of Verona. and truth to life. Valentine. the start of surprise. And once again I do receive thee honest Who by repentance is not satisfied. too. is a play which shows in Julia and Launce. withdraws as he sees strangers coming through the forest. though he now recognizes the value of complicated plot and of creating suspense in the minds of his hearers. Valentine.
lines 63-68? Valentine is shown to be a man of action. As yet he did not know how to throw his comedy into the finest relief by letting the serious cast slight shadows here and there. 2. 23-40. Is this scene humorous? Why? Yes. Does not this comparison of his accomplishment in these two plays with what he had done in Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece demonstrate that his superiority at first was poetic and literary rather than dramatic. emotional. That Shakespeare used whatever he liked or whatever "took" more than once. true. Note the similarity in the speeches of Lucetta and Portia. was an art which must be learned even in Shakespeare's day? Famous Quotations from The Two Gentlemen of Verona I have no other but a woman's reason. in the sense of projecting character by means of dialogue. is no man. false. Proteus is a man of reflection. (3. because I think him so. ACT I . Why is this an important scene? . the power of deriving for a special audience from particular material the largest amount of emotional result. (4. See lines 20. What does Shakespeare tell about the characters Proteus and Valentine. What are your conclusions? That Shakespeare liked the scene in the earlier play and therefore developed the same situation when he wrote The Merchant of Venice.SCENE I 1. and theatrical ability. the play upon words in the scene between Speed and Proteus.2) That man that hath a tongue. The play upon words in the scene between Valentine and Proteus. Julia and Nerissa. Compare the first 50 lines of this scene with The Merchant of Venice Act I. Scene ii.1) Is she not passing fair? (4.suggestions of his story.1) To make a virtue of necessity. and that the distinction between dramatic ability.Study Questions and Answers From Shakespeare Explained by Forrest Lunt. I think him so.4) The Two Gentlemen of Verona . 70-158. SCENE III 5. New York: Hearst's International Library. generous. unemotional. selfish. If with his tongue he cannot win a woman. lines 37-140. SCENE II 3. 4. and Speed himself make the humor. (1. I say.
is to be separated from the woman he loves and. Do you enjoy it? Natural. especially lines 12. whether he is more interested in seeing treachery punished or honesty and love rewarded. therefore. Which character is the more interesting.SCENE I 6. an audience would be further interested in the questions raised at the end of Act I. the quibbling wit of the speeches will probably cause laughter. the devotee of love. SCENE IV 10. "How will he act?" "What will he do?" ACT II . In the first he shows jealousy. Would comedy of this kind interest a modern audience? It would depend upon the way it was played. The words read probably seem uninteresting but the action which goes with the words on the stage would cause laughter. This scene shows the absolute necessity of visualizing a play. SCENE II 7. in the second. 20 and 30. anger. Both are interesting. What shows you that Valentine's love for Silvia is genuine? Valentine's failure to see through Silvia's device (see lines 121-140) suggests that his love for her is genuine. ACT III 12. If one sees the clown leading his dog by a string onto the stage. What is the reason for giving this short scene? In order to show Proteus and Julia together. SCENE III 8. Scene iii.Because it tells the audience that Proteus. After hearing his speech. lines 8-12. in the third. lines 10-42? By his speeches. SCENE V 11. . What kind of humor is found in this scene? 9. Valentine or Proteus? The answer will depend upon the reader. stupidity. homely nonsense. How does Thurio reveal his character. raises the questions.
because Silvia tells Proteus what she thinks of him and his actions. her capture by the outlaws." (Lines 71-73. GENERAL 18. Satisfaction. Julia's trip to Milan in search of Proteus. How does Shakespeare make Valentine's willingness to become an outlaw less objectionable. Do you like the way in which Shakespeare ends the play? Many do not. The introduction of Thurio as the chosen suitor of Silvia. Will Julia he happy with Proteus? Probably not. SCENE II 16. by the statement of the Third Outlaw that some of the band are gentlemen (lines 44-61).SCENE I 13.) 14. Does Proteus deserve the reward he receives? No. What feelings are aroused by lines 68-112? Satisfaction and sympathy.ACT IV . Thurio's appeal to Proteus for aid in his wooing. Summarize the ways by which the story is complicated. one cannot be certain that Proteus will treat her well. lines 71-76? By a reference to the romantic robber Robin Hood. and because she also hears Silvia tell Proteus what he is. these events make up the complications. 17. to them the end seems to be forced and weak. Silvia's escape from her father's court. . At least. but perhaps she would be happy with Proteus under any circumstances. because Julia hears the man she loves declare his love for another. and his immediate determination to supplant Valentine. . do not outrages On silly women or poor passengers. 19. Are there any scenes or characters which seem unnatural? . and by the agreement to ". Proteus's failure to recognize Julia and his giving her a position as his page . sympathy. The mere statement of repentance is not sufficient punishment. ACT V 16. and her rescue by Proteus. the arrival at Milan of Proteus.
records of performances and the dates plays appeared in print. and often pirated without his consent. The theme of the play The play is categorised as a Comedy. Scene i. lines 78-83. published during his lifetime in quarto editions by unscrupulous publishers (there were no copyright laws protecting Shakespeare and his works during the Elizabethan era). according to the Complete Public Domain Text is 18. Act IV. Scene ii. as in other Shakespeare plays. 1616) when two of his fellow actors. . Date first printed It is believed that the script was first printed in 1623 in the First Folio. Scene iii. Proteus.368. Using the ploy of disguises.script of Two Gentlemen of Verona the play by William Shakespeare Cast and characters in The Two Gentlemen of Verona play by William Shakespeare Index of plays by William Shakespeare Summary of the plot or story Shakespeare's plot centres around Valentine and Proteus. who travel to Milan and learn about the world of courtship. They are best friends. Eighteen unauthorised versions of his plays were. In the Elizabethan era there was a huge demand for new entertainment and The Two Gentlemen of Verona would have been produced immediately following the completion of the play. The women in the play are Sylvia and Julia. As William Shakespeare clearly did not want his work published details of the play would have therefore been noted. Number of words in the script The number of words in The Two Gentlemen of Verona. following a performance. seem unnatural. Act V. however. The settings for the drama The settings for The Two Gentlemen of Verona are Verona. The Two Gentlemen of Verona the play by William Shakespeare Text . true love prevails and the friends are reconciled and look to share 'one mutual happiness' Information provided about the play William Shakespeare never published any of his plays and therefore none of the original manuscripts have survived. A collection of his works did not appear until 1623 (a full seven years after Shakespeare's death on April 23. Most important characters The most important characters in the play are: Valentine. Eglamour does not live up to the reputation given him in Act IV. Scene i. see Act III. posthumously recorded his work and published 36 of William’s plays in the First Folio. Milan and a forest near Mantua in Italy.Some of Valentine's actions seem unnatural. But love for the same woman comes between them. Date first performed It is believed that The Two Gentlemen of Verona was first performed between 1594 and 1595. Some dates are therefore approximate other dates are substantiated by historical events. John Hemminges and Henry Condell. Act III. Scene iv. the Outlaws all seem unnatural. lines 11-13. Julia and Sylvia. two gentlemen of Verona.
After much bickering. complete with information regarding the Act and the Scene. Sebastian faints and his true identity becomes clear. After Valentine departs. He tries to rape her for her resistance. He's supposed to be Valentine's best friend and Julia's sweetie. tied by his love for Julia. Silvia. to the Duke's court in Milan. leaving Silvia to fend for herself against the outlaws. but she refuses.Famous Quotes / Quotations The quotes from the Two Gentlemen of Verona are amongst Shakespeare's most famous including 'Who is Sylvia?'. and Valentine offers to give him Silvia as a token of their friendship. which is in a poem. . The Duke realizes that Thurio is a thug and says that Valentine is far nobler and can marry Silvia. Meanwhile. Proteus demands that Silvia give him some sign of her favor for freeing her. who is disguised as the page Sebastian. When Proteus arrives at court. while traveling to Mantua. he stabs his BFF in the back and tries to rape Silvia. The outlaws. Valentine is off to improve himself. Valentine watches the interaction unseen. The banished Valentine. and Lucetta recommends Proteus. gaining favor for himself and effecting Valentine's banishment from court. They exchange rings and promises to keep loving each other. but after he falls for Valentine's girlfriend. Julia. only to regret this act an instant later. and suggests that his marriage to Silvia and Proteus' marriage to Julia should take place on the same day. with which man she should fall in love. The Two Gentlemen of Verona A Study Guide Proteus Character Analysis Proteus is a young nobleman from Verona. Julia tears up the letter. When Valentine confesses that he and Silvia plan to elope. Julia has hatched a plan to disguise herself as a man so that she can journey to Milan to be reunited with Proteus. Upon arriving at court. and Thurio. have organized a search party for Silvia. Valentine accepts. Silvia and Julia. venturing out to see the world. she and Eglamour are overtaken by a band of outlaws. enters. allowing a quick reference to the section of the play that this quotation can be found in. Silvia calls on her friend Sir Eglamour to help her escape her father's oppressive will (he wants her to marry Thurio) and to find Valentine. asks her maid. Eglamour runs away. the Duke. he too falls in love with Silvia. Proteus wrests Silvia away from the outlaws. his servant. follows. When he's confronted. and vows to do anything he can to win her away from Valentine. However. and takes her instead. Proteus notifies the Duke of their plans. meanwhile. meet when Julia delivers the ring Proteus had given her to Silvia on behalf of Proteus. At this moment. Valentine has fallen in love with the Duke's feisty daughter. Please click here for the full text of the script of the play. Proteus. Lucetta. his son. Proteus inquires whether or not Speed delivered a letter to Julia. By this time. to which Speed replies affirmatively. Antonio decides to send Proteus. she witnesses Proteus and Thurio wooing Silvia. Proteus immediately apologizes. Back in Verona. a decision with which neither Proteus nor Julia is particularly happy. all of whom are banished gentlemen as well. Summary Bosom buddies Valentine and Proteus bid a tearful farewell on a street in Verona. Proteus decides that he really loves Julia better than Silvia. while traveling through the forest. is apprehended by a group of outlaws. Speed. while Proteus stays home in Verona. Valentine asks for clemency for the outlaws. demand Valentine to become their king. but Valentine jumps out and stops him. Since they threaten to kill him if he refuses. Julia does not reveal her identity. with Sebastian/Julia in tow. Lucetta admits that she has a letter for Julia from Proteus. Details of this famous quote.
so we can begin to understand Valentine's motivation to forgive Proteus. Proteus and Valentine are best buds. I tender 't here. let this habit make thee blush! . Valentine says. Male Friendship OK. For Valentine. Proteus's violation of Silvia is less important than Proteus's violation of the bonds of friendship. the phrase "I know him as myself" also suggests that Proteus and Valentine are like two halves of the same being. For that in them is but one mind and one possession" (2. male friendship was considered one of the most sacred and important bonds. So why is his horrible behavior forgiven at the play's end? Well.1). Let's think about the importance of male friendship in the play. Here's what Julia says after Proteus assaults Silvia: O Proteus. "I know him as myself. Check out how sweet Proteus is when Valentine sets out for Milan: "Wilt thou be gone? Sweet Valentine. Proteus's Final Transformation? OK.4. At the same time. He feels bad because he hurt Valentine's feelings and betrayed his friend's trust. he says he's sorry for being a bad friend.1. This idea echoes a common sixteenth-century idea made famous by Thomas Elyot's The Book Named the Governor. When the Duke of Milan asks about Proteus's character." he means to suggest that he knows Proteus as well as he knows himself. the play seems to suggest that mending male friendship is more important than anything else.4) Proteus never expresses remorse for his crime against Silvia. He has no trouble being two-faced as he betrays his best friend and he lies to just about everyone he knows. Forgive me. It's pretty clear that Valentine also feels the same way about his BFF. we try to understand by taking a close look at the play. "I know him as myself. Elyot says that friendship makes "two persons one in having and suffering. the guys have known each other since they were babies and have spent their entire lives together. which prompts him to make up with Valentine and fall back in love with Julia.4.he undergoes a sudden and miraculous transformation.11). And therefore a friend is properly named of philosophers the other I. when Valentine catches Proteus trying to rape Silvia. again. Proteus is pretty erratic and changeable. adieu!/ Think on thy Proteus" when you're away (1. In Book 2. Valentine: if hearty sorrow Be a sufficient ransom for offence. In Shakespeare's day. Chapter 11. So. but. not for the attempted rape: My shame and guilt confounds me. First things first. I do as truly suffer As e'er I did commit.20). (5. According to Valentine. When Proteus apologizes. we can try to understand why Valentine and Julia forgive Proteus by thinking about the play's themes of male friendship and transformation. When Proteus says. Valentine is outraged that his friend would betray him. don't you think? He falls in and out of love (with women and his best friend) as often as some people change clothes. and he's also pretty crafty and deceptive. At the beginning of Two Gentlemen. for from our infancy/ We have conversed and spent our hours together" (2. we're not quite sure – the sequence of events in the final scene is pretty bizarre. Like the shape-shifting sea god he shares his name with. but why does Julia forgive him? There are no easy answers to this question. When Valentine forgives him without a lot of fuss. Still. Proteus sounds like a pretty bad guy.
there's no mention of Silvia. At the same time. the abruptness of Proteus's seeming transformation leaves us skeptical at best. We know you're just dying to know more about Valentine's oh-so generous offer to his friend. Check out "What's Up With the Ending?" if you want to think about this some more. you should do that now because these guys are like two peas in a pod – they're the Batman and Robin of sixteenth-century literature. he forgives Proteus and then offers to "give" Silvia over to Proteus as a gesture of friendship.1. At the beginning of the play. at this moment in the play. The point may be that.Be thou ashamed that I have took upon me Such an immodest raiment. (5. but first we need to think about Valentine's attitude toward love. the Han Solo and Chewbacca of Shakespearean comedy. (If you haven't already read our analysis of Proteus. However.1. they are also capable of self-revelation and change (for the better). Women to change their shapes than men their minds. 46). while human beings can be fickle. If lost. Valentine seems like a hater – he mocks Proteus for being in love with Julia and claims that romance has transformed Proteus into a "fool" (1.) What's going on here? Literary scholar Marjorie Garber points out that. modesty finds. there's still no recognition that his attempt to rape Silvia is problematic. Proteus Timeline Valentine Character Analysis The most important thing to know about Valentine is that he is Proteus's BFF.4. You catch our drift?) Valentine and Romance This young gentleman from Verona is guilty of some pretty bizarre behavior in the play – after catching his best friend trying to rape his girlfriend Silvia. (1. O heaven! were man But constant.7) Again. why then a grievous labour won.7) Here. changeable. Proteus's true nature is "unmasked" at the exact same time that Julia's true identity has been revealed (Shakespeare After All.6) . perhaps a hapless gain.8). (Yet.4. (5. and unstable. Or else a wit by folly vanquished. How does Proteus respond to this? Than men their minds! 'tis true. Julia is irate because 1) she's embarrassed that she had to dress as a boy ("Sebastian") in order to chase down Proteus. if shame live In a disguise of love: It is the lesser blot. the Captain Kirk and Spock of Renaissance drama. Proteus suddenly realizes that Julia is right about his behavior – he's been falling in and out of love and his disloyalty and inconstancy makes him flawed. At least we're pretty sure that's what Valentine would want us to say. but a folly bought with wit. he were perfect. If haply won. and 2) because Proteus has been unfaithful and "change[d]" his mind about loving her.
He falls in love and proceeds to play the part of the male lover in a courtly romance. don't you think? Valentine Meets Silvia Enter Silvia. Here's how it goes down: After Proteus apologizes to Valentine for being a lousy friend (there's no apology for assaulting Silvia).5). right? There's just one thing. Valentine forgives him immediately and says. All the love I gave to Silvia.) 3. where she catches him trying to hook up with another woman. "All that was mine in Silvia I give thee" (5." On the other hand. Valentine's Offer to Proteus Even if we question Valentine's devotion to Silvia. In the play.) Most literary critics tend to agree that Valentine is making a peace offering here. I give thee. All the love I gave to Silvia. if Silvia be not seen? What joy is joy. if Silvia be not by? (3. Valentine gets pretty dramatic. Just read "The Miller's Tale" if you don't believe us. Be sure to check out the "Theme" of "Friendship" if you want to think about this some more. His big speech about Silvia is way over the top. I give thee. everything changes. (He'll love Proteus and Silvia equally. This basically means that Valentine places Silvia on a pedestal while Silvia treats Valentine like her "servant. And Silvia is myself: banish'd from her Is self from self: a deadly banishment! What light is light.4." And yes. made fun of it too. (He's going to step aside and let Proteus have her.According to Valentine.) 2.1. Check out what he has to say in the play's most famous monologue: To die is to be banish'd from myself. I'll give to you too.4). we wonder if his love is really genuine. There are a few ways to read this: 1. which implies that he values his friendship with Proteus more than any other relationship. to Milan. When Valentine meets the Duke of Milan's sassy daughter. Any claims I made to Silvia's love. Proteus. Valentine declares that life is meaningless for him without Silvia. (He loves Proteus more than he loves Silvia. it's a "labour won." (That's how guys and girls flirt in "courtly romance" literature like Chaucer's "The Knight's Tale. When Silvia's dad banishes Valentine from Milan. if a man loses in love. if a man succeeds in winning a woman's heart. by the way. Shakespeare is totally making fun of courtly romance. Chaucer. especially since Valentine's offer comes on the heels of Proteus's attempt to rape Silvia (5. so much so that fleeing from Milan is as good as dying. it is a "hapless gain. When Valentine elevates Silvia in an unrealistic way. . Does this also mean that the play values friendship more than anything? We'll leave that for you to decide. We might say that it's a little too over the top.) Valentine is so smitten with Silvia that he literally risks his neck to be with her. Julia Julia is a young noblewoman from Verona. we're still pretty shocked when Valentine offers to "give" her over to his best friend. she disguises herself as a boy and follows her boyfriend.15) In elevated terms." Pretty cynical. Valentine seems like he's pretty crazy about Silvia.
In order to travel safely. And at that time I made her weep agood./ In thy opinion which is worthiest love?" (1. and then proceeding to tear it up to prove that she doesn't care about love) (1. weren't allowed on the Elizabethan stage. Shakespeare's First Cross-Dressing Heroine Julia is also pretty clever. The thing about Julia. Instead of revealing her identity. she's determined to be with him and risks everything (including potential unwanted encounters with "lascivious men") by traveling to Milan. Shakespeare's point seems to be that love makes us do strange things. First. "Sebastian. when Lucetta suggests the guy's a clown. so the parts of women were played by men and boys. Just a few lines later. now we are alone. As if the garment had been made for me: Therefore I know she is about my height. Check out what Julia says when Silvia asks "Sebastian" to tell her about Julia: Our youth got me to play the woman's part. Julia's fickle behavior continues throughout the scene. Olivia. And I was trimm'd in Madam Julia's gown. Julia's Encounter with Silvia Julia's disguise is important for all sorts of reasons. is that she turns out to be pretty steadfast in her devotion to her boyfriend. and would I might be dead .1). she takes a job as Proteus's pageboy and then proceeds to run a painful errand – delivering a ring to Silvia on behalf of Proteus. Julia is furious: "How now! what means this passion at his name?" (1.2). Julia seems like she's just as fickle as some of the other characters – she can't seem to make up her mind about whether or not she'll allow herself to fall in love. it draws the audience's attention to the fact that we are watching (or reading) a play in which a male actor is playing the role of a woman who is disguised as a boy. she wonders who should be the lucky guy: "Of all the fair resort of gentlemen/ That every day with parle encounter me. she disguises herself as a boy. Which I so lively acted with my tears That my poor mistress. Julia slyly asks Lucetta's opinion of Proteus and. "But say. Which served me as fit. moved therewithal. Julia's not the only character to behave strangely./ Wouldst thou then counsel me to fall in love?" (1. Viola falls in love with Duke Orsino after taking a job as his page boy (also named "Sebastian") and then agrees to delivers love letters to another woman. (Women actors. In Twelfth Night.6). Lucetta. however.2). as we know.2. For I did play a lamentable part: Madam. Julia is obviously a very popular girl – she's got suitors coming out of the woodwork just to talk with her.Julia and Love At the beginning of the play. After Proteus leaves for Milan. changing her mind. especially when we try to conceal our feelings. OK.2. don't you think? But then Julia doesn't something pretty strange when she arrives in Milan and catches Proteus hitting on Silvia." This is pretty gutsy. We soon find out that Julia's had her sights set on Proteus all along. so she asks her serving woman. 'twas Ariadne passioning For Theseus' perjury and unjust flight.2. Why would she do this? Is she a glutton for punishment? Is she hoping to size up the competition? We're not exactly sure but we do know this – Julia's not the only character to behave this way. where she works reallyhard to conceal her true feelings for Proteus (by sending back a love letter.) Shakespeare has a lot of fun with Julia's "Sebastian" disguise. Wept bitterly. Proteus. by all men's judgments.
When we read this passage. we know that "Sebastian" never played the role of Ariadne in a play. It's also interesting that "Sebastian" claims to have worn Julia's clothes when "he" played the role of Ariadne in a church play. This made up story seems to be Julia's way of expressing her sadness over the loss of Proteus without revealing her true identity. Though his false finger have profaned the ring. "Sebastian's" performance of this "woman's part" was so good. At the same time." which gestures at Silvia's capacity for loyalty and solidarity with another woman (unlike Proteus.If I in thought felt not her very sorrow! (4.5) Silvia also demonstrates her capacity for kindness when she refuses to accept a gift from Proteus: The more shame for him that he sends it me. She's famous for hanging herself after her boyfriend. despite the play's efforts to champion the bonds of male friendship. Theseus. she's also incredibly loyal. Silvia's behavior demonstrates how women are capable of friendship too. When she falls in love with Valentine.18) Shakespeare loves this kind of artistic self-reference – he's always letting us know that we're watching a play and he's always reminding us that the world of the stage is not the real world in which we live. When Proteus stabs his best friend Valentine in the back and goes after Silvia. when her father banishes Valentine from Milan. Silvia runs away to the forest. the theater can also be a reflection of the kinds of emotions we experience in the real world. we're talking about you) are anything but.4. (5. . who is disguised as a page boy. which is kind of touching. (Never a good idea." we're reminded of the theater's capacity to move us. "he" says. breaks up with her. who is busy stabbing his best friend in the back). Silvia Silvia is the spirited daughter of the Duke of Milan and Valentine's girlfriend.4) Silvia refuses to accept the ring Proteus has sent her (by way of Julia.) Now. For I have heard him say a thousand times His Julia gave it him at his departure.4. "Sebastian").4. Silvia's Loyalty Silvia is not only bold. She also insists that she would never do "Julia so much wrong. when "Sebastian" relates the story of how "his" acting role made Julia "weep. Ariadne is a figure from Greek mythology. where Valentine has set up camp. that it moved Julia to tears. we can't help but think that. Silvia seems to be the only voice of morality and fidelity: PROTEUS In love Who respects friend? SILVIA All men but Proteus. Silvia is so determined to be with Valentine that. Mine shall not do his Julia so much wrong. For Shakespeare. which is a pretty big deal in a play in which the two main characters (Proteus and Valentine. (4. she rebels against her father's wishes and makes plans to elope.
shares the same name because the guy falls in and out of love like some people change outfits.6). Pretty poetic. a horse cannot fetch.4. Valentine asks "What light is light if Silvia be not seen?/ What joy is joy. Is this a reflection of Shakespeare's inexperience as a playwright? We're not sure. Proteus is a sea god who changes his shape at will. When Proteus threatens to rape her. When Julia and Proteus get back together. he explains that "She hath more qualities than a water-spaniel.1. so it might be a reference to "crab apples. Proteus. wouldn't you say? We might also say that this is a little too over the top. if Silvia be not by?" (3. a horse/ can do no more: nay. seems to be nothing more than a servant." before ticking off a laundry list of reasons why his new sweetie is so great: "She can fetch and carry. which.6). What do you think? We also wonder what Silvia might utter if she did have a voice in the final moments of the play… Tools of Characterization Character Analysis Names In Greek mythology. but only/ carry. Why. in Lance's mind. When her father arrives and gives her as a "gift" to Proteus.1. he says. Lance's ideas about love are practical – he's obviously interested in qualities that would make for a good wife. therefore is she better than a jade. but it seems like Shakespeare drops the ball in the play's final scene. she says nothing. the patron saint of lovers. Valentine elevates Silvia in an unrealistic way so we might question whether or not his love is genuine. In a monologue about his girlfriend. Next Page: Analysis Foil Character Role Analysis . especially since he basically offers her to Proteus in the final scene. Silvia screams "O heaven!" and this is the last we hear from her (5. When Valentine and Proteus make up. So. "She can milk" a cow (3. This seems ironic in the first scene because Valentine hates on love and makes fun of Proteus for being into Julia. The name begins to make more sense when Valentine falls for Silvia and hatches a plan to run away with her." Plus." which are kind of sour. We're relieved when Valentine prevents the rape. Proteus is also pretty good at disguising his true intentions so we could also say that his lies and deceit also make him a kind of immoral shape-shifter. Valentine shares his name with St. The name "Crab" belongs to Lance's surly natured dog. Valentine. she's silent. over-the-top way.What Happens to Silvia's Voice? Silvia is definitely a strong heroine. but we're baffled when Silvia remains silent on stage. it seems pretty fitting that Shakespeare's fickle character. Love and Romance Ever notice the way Valentine talks about romance? It's always in an elevated. she says nothing.15). when Lance falls in love with a girl. In contrast.
4.Lance to Proteus When Lance tells us about all the beatings he's taken for his dog Crab's bad behavior (stealing pudding. Read more about this by going to our "Characters" section. it becomes pretty clear that he's more devoted to his dog than Proteus is loyal to Julia and Valentine (4. killing geese.lsu. he decides that he's got to have her.edu/docs/available/etd-0409103-121920/unrestricted/Kelley_thesis. This could definitely work because he's one of the major obstacles in the way of Valentine and Silvia's hook-up. Romance If we think of male friendship as the play's "protagonist. "a pissing" under the Duke's table. His willingness to lie to his best bud and his relentless pursuit of Silvia (including his attempt to rape her) are major threats to the friendship. but the play suggests that romantic relationships with women have the potential to breakup male friendships." right? He's the one." then it sort of follows that romance acts as an antagonist to that relationship. who chases after Silvia when she's dating his best friend and tries to rape her. who comes between them. etc.1). if romance is the protagonist you're rooting for. such as a comedian for a tragic hero or a cautious person for an impulsive hero http://etd. Proteus OK.). The Duke of Milan The Duke of Milan is another "antagonist" to romance. Proteus and Valentine also fall for the same girl. then you're probably thinking Proteus is a major "antagonist. even though his best friend is in love with her. Silvia. don't you think? He is the guy who banishes Valentine from Milan and prevents him from physically being with Silvia. Proteus's love for Julia causes Proteus and Valentine to be separated (Proteus stays behind in Verona instead of travelling with his pal). Antagonist Character Role Analysis Proteus When Proteus falls in love with Silvia.pdf yhesis . no? A foil is a character that functions as a contrast to the main character. after all. Is it fair to blame Silvia for Valentine and Proteus's problems? Absolutely not.
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