The Two Gentlemen Of Verona

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The Two Gentlemen of Verona is a comedy by William Shakespeare from early in his career. The highlight of the play is considered by many to be the comic servingman Launce and his dog Crab.
The date of composition is uncertain, although it is commonly believed to have been one of Shakespeares earliest works. The play is thought to have been written in the early 1590s, although the first evidence of its existence is in Francis Meress list of plays, published in 1598. It was not printed until 1623 when it appeared in the First Folio of Shakespeares plays.
There is no record of a performance in Shakespeares era, down to the closing of the theatres in 1642. The earliest known performance occurred at Drury Lane in 1762, with augmented parts for Launce and his dog. The straight Shakespearean text was performed at Covent Garden in 1784; Frederic Reynolds staged an operatic version in 1821. The play has been produced sporadically, but with little success in the English-speaking world. It has proved more popular in Europe. [1] The two gentlemen are Valentine and Proteus.
In the beginning of the play, Valentine is getting ready to leave Verona to visit Milan to gain life experience. He begs his best friend, Proteus, to come with him, but Proteus is in love with a girl named Julia. At first Valentine chides Proteus for concentrating more on matters of love than matters of the mind, but after realizing that Proteus is really in love with Julia, he goes on alone.
Meanwhile, Julia is discussing Proteus with her maid, Lucetta. Lucetta reveals to Julia that she finds Proteus very fine - Of many good, I think him best - and tells Julia that she thinks Proteus is fond of her.
Julia, embarassed to admit she likes him, continues fishing until Lucetta brings out a letter. She will not say who gave it to her, but teases Julia that Valentines friend, Speed, gave it to her.
She thinks it was sent from Proteus.
Julia then reveals that she does love Proteus.
As fate would design it, Proteus father agrees with Valentine and Panthino, another of Proteuss friends, and soon sends Proteus to Milan. In a tearful goodbye with his beloved, Julia, Proteus swears eternal love. The two exchange rings and vows and Proteus promises to return as soon as he can.
Unfortunately, as soon as he arrives in Milan, trouble strikes. Proteus finds Valentine in love with Silvia, the daughter of the Duke. Despite his past love for Julia, Proteus also falls for Silvia and does everything he can to clear his own path to her.
He even betrays Valentine to the Duke, telling Silvias father that his daughter and Valentine plan to elope. The Duke, who wishes Silvia to marry Thurio, then catches and banishes Valentine.
While wandering outside of Milan, Valentine runs afoul of a band of outlaws. They tell him that they, too, were once gentlemen and were banished. Valentine lies to them, saying he was banished because he killed a man in a fair fight, and the outlaws decide to ...


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