Widely esteemed as the greatest writer in the English language, William Shakespeare (1564-1616) was an actor and theatrical producer in addition to writing plays and sonnets. Dubbed "The Bard of Avon," Shakespeare oversaw the building of the Globe Theatre in London, where a number of his plays were staged, the best-known of which include Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, and Macbeth. The First Folio, a printed book of 36 of his comedies, tragedies, and history plays, was published in 1623.
The Two Gentlemen of Verona (Annotated with Biography and Critical Essay)by William Shakespeare
- LendMe LendMe™ Learn More
The Two Gentlemen of Verona, a romance, is one of Shakespeare’s early plays, and was written in 1590 or 1591. The setting is Verona, Milan, and a forest near Mantua of the sixteenth century. Two plot lines are intertwined in the play. It is thought that Shakespeare borrowed the plot of love triangle from a Spanish story Diana published in 1559 and the story of friendship from an English story, The Boke Named the Governour, from 1531. Many Shakespearean scholars believe that The Two Gentlemen of Verona was Shakespeare’s first play.
The play begins with Valentine, a “gentleman of Verona,” seeking adventure, leaving that place to serve the Duke of Milan. He falls in love with the Duke’s daughter, Silvia. Valentine’s friend, Proteus, another gentleman of Verona, although reluctant to leave, is sent to Milan by his father. Proteus has a steady love interest, Julia, who he claims to love, but when he arrives in Milan he falls in love with Silvia too. The wealthy Thurio is also in love with her. The friendship of Valentine and Proteus is challenged when Proteus foils Valentine’s plot to elope with Silvia. After discovering the elopement plot, Silvia’s father, the Duke of Milan, banishes Valentine, who joins a gang of outlaws.
This annotated edition includes a biography and critical essay.
- BN ID:
- Golgotha Press
- Publication date:
- Sold by:
- Barnes & Noble
- NOOK Book
- File size:
- 80 KB
Meet the Author
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews
Although few would claim that Two Gentlemen of Verona is one of Shakespeare¿s greatest plays, it is well worth reading in order to serve as a reference for the best of his romantic comedies. In essence, Two Gentlemen of Verona gives you a measuring stick to see the brilliance in the best works. The play has the first of Shakespeare¿s many brave, resourceful and cross-dressing heroines, Julia. Shakespeare always used his fools and clowns well to make serious statements about life and love, and to expose the folly of the nobles. Two Gentlemen of Verona has two very fine comic scenes featuring Launce. In one, he lists the qualities of a milk maid he has fallen in love with and helps us to see that love is blind and relative. In another, he describes the difficulties he has delivering a pet dog to Silvia on his master, Proteus¿, behalf in a way that will keep you merry on many a cold winter¿s evening. The story also has one of the fastest plot resolutions you will ever find in a play. Blink, and the play is over. This nifty sleight of hand is Shakespeare¿s way of showing that when you get noble emotions and character flowing together, things go smoothly and naturally. The overall theme of the play develops around the relative conflicts that lust, love, friendship, and forgiveness can create and overcome. Proteus is a man who seems literally crazed by his attraction to Silvia so that he loses all of his finer qualities. Yet even he can be redeemed, after almost doing a most foul act. The play is very optimistic in that way. I particularly enjoy the plot device of having Proteus and Julia (pretending to be a page) playing in the roles of false suitors for others to serve their own interests. Fans of Othello will enjoy these foreshadowings of Iago. The words themselves can be a bit bare at times, requiring good direction and acting to bring out the full conflict and story. For that reason, I strongly urge you to see the play performed first. If that is not possible, do listen to an audio recording as you read along. That will help round out the full atmosphere that Shakespeare was developing here. After you finish Two Gentlemen of Verona, think about where you would honor friendship above love, where equal to love, and where below love. Is friendship less important than love? Or is friendship merely less intense? Can you experience both with the same person? Enjoy close ties of mutual commitment . . . with all those you feel close to! Donald Mitchell, co-author of The 2,000 Percent Solution and The Irresistible Growth Enterprise
Sound like a creeps behind me when i read it
Beware, this version is not formatted properly.
This is probably his worst play. Possibly the merry wives of winsor, but i think this is worse. First of all, it was white-supremasist, christain supremacist, and sexist. The final scene was a disturbance, and where was the death? It was a comedy, but it wasnt good. Shakespeare is the greatest writer of all time, but that is based on Hamlet, Othello, Merchant of Venice (my favorite comedy) and Romeo and Juliet (i believe it is his best work). Any Chekhov, Sophocles, Ibsen, or Arthur Miller is better than most of Shakespeare's plays. This was an experimental comedy, but not one of his better ones. Very dissapointing, read Merchant of Venice first.