31 January 2013
Two Gentlemen of Verona
Two Gentleman of Verona is, like all of the first plays I'm reading, a comedy. Basically, there are 2 guys. One's in love, and is staying in Verona because his lady is there. The other one is opposed to love and is headed out on the road. Guess who's going to change his mind by the end?
Gentleman 1, Proteus, finally convinces the lovely Julia to fall in love with him. Then his father packs him off to Milan to visit Gentleman 2, Valentine, who has since fallen for the witty Silvia. Proteus takes one look at Silvia and falls in love with her, and immediately starts plotting against his best friend. He talks Silvia's father into sending Valentine off on an errand back to Verona to get rid of him. In the meantime, Julia decides to dress up like a boy and go to Milan to surprise Proteus, where she discovers his faithlessness.
Silvia, knowing of Proteus' previous attachment, dislikes him, and runs off to the forest to find Valentine, who has since fallen in with a group of kindly outlaws. Silvia is pursued by Proteus and Julia (disguised as Proteus' servant), and when they catch up with her, she berates Proteus for his inconstancy. Julia reveals herself, and Proteus repents, and they all end up engaged to the proper people.
I was probably more irritated with this play than amused. The best scene was when Launce, one of the servants, was debating marrying a girl, and Speed, another servant, read through the list of her faults and virtues and they commented on each item (although, be warned, the scene is quite sexist). None of the main characters were particularly commendable, except for Silvia, who had a mind of her own. Unfortunately, I was so frustrated with the play that I didn't really try to glean more from it.
The next play is The Merry Wives of Windsor, which is much more fun.
"Fire that's closest kept burns most of all" Lucetta, Two Gentlemen, I.2.30
"Speed: For he, being in love, could not see to garter his hose; and you, being in love, cannot see to put on your hose.
"Valentine: Belike, boy, then, you are in love; for last morning you could not see to wipe my shoes.
"Speed: True, sir; I was in love with my bed." Two Gentleman, II.1.84-91
"What need a man care for a stock with a wench, when she can knit him a stock?" Launce, Two Gentleman, III.1.314-315
"Speed: Item, She hath more hair than wit.-
"Launce: More hair than wit it may be; I'll prove it: the cover of the salt hides the salt, and therefore it is more than the salt; the hair that covers the wit is more than the wit, for the greater hides the less." Two Gentlemen, III.1.369-375