William Shakespeare – The Two Gentlemen of Verona (Summary)

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  • Proteus – A young Veronese gentleman.
  • Valentine – Also a gentleman of Verona. Friend to Proteus.
  • Julia – Proteus’s first love, later disguised as the page Sebastian.
  • Lucetta – Julia’s maid, who makes the breeches and codpiece for Julia’s disguise as a boy.
  • Silvia – Daughter of the Duke of Milan, and Valentine’s beloved.
  • Speed – Valentine’s servant, who is far cleverer than his dim-witted master.
  • Lance – Proteus’s servant, and a clownish fellow.
  • Crab – Lance’s dog, to which Lance addresses impassioned monologues.
  • Duke of Milan – Silvia’s father.
  • Thurio – The Duke’s preferred suitor for his daughter. He is not taken seriously by his rivals.
  • Antonio – Proteus’s father, who insists that Proteus should follow Valentine to Milan.
  • Panthino – Antonio’s servant.
  • Eglamour – A knight who has taken a vow of chastity after the death of his love.
  • Outlaws – Living in the forest outside Milan.
  • Host – Keeper of the inn where Julia lodges.

Valentine prepares to leave for the Duke of Milan’s court to complete his education as a gentleman. Proteus refuses to go with him because of his love for Julia. Valentine deplores the effects of love upon his friend.

Valentine bids farewell to Proteus, as he leaves for Milan.

Julia discusses her suitors with her maid, Lucetta. Lucetta singles out Proteus for admiration, but Julia observes that he has made no suit to her. When Speed delivers a letter from Proteus, Julia pretends that she doesn’t want to read it, and tears it up. In private, she pieces the letter together and admits her love.

Proteus is celebrating Julia’s confession of love in another letter when his father announces that he must join Valentine.

Antonio is persuaded to send Proteus to complete his education in Milan.

Proteus says goodbye to Julia. They exchange rings, and he vows to be faithful to her. Lance gives a comic account of his leave-taking in which only the dog, Crab, remained dry-eyed.

At the court of Milan, Valentine has changed his attitude about love, having become infatuated with Silvia, the Duke’s daughter, who is intended for the wealthy Thurio. Proteus arrives at court and is instantly enamored of Silvia, too.

Proteus arrives at court and immediately falls in love with Silvia.

Valentine reveals he and Silvia are betrothed and plan to elope. Proteus betrays this plot to Silvia’s father, who tricks Valentine into revealing the rope ladder and letter, hidden in his cloak. The Duke banishes Valentine from Milan.

Proteus tells the Duke of Valentine’s plan to elope with Silvia. The Duke banishes Valentine.

Proteus offers to help Thurio by praising him in front of Silvia and slandering Valentine. As he sings beneath her window, he is overheard by Julia, who has come in search of her lover, disguised as the page boy Sebastian. Proteus takes her into his employment and sends her to woo Silvia, giving her a letter and a ring (the one Julia gave him). Silvia sends Proteus a portrait of herself, but refuses to read his letter and tears it up. Julia’s account of Proteus’s betrayal of his first love makes Silvia cry.

Silvia enlists the help of Eglamour, a knight who has taken a vow of chastity after his true love died. They meet at Friar Patrick’s cell after confession and make their way toward Mantua, where Silvia believes Valentine to be living.

The Duke, Thurio, Proteus, and Julia go after Silvia.

In the forest, Proteus rescues Silvia from the outlaws who have captured her. Silvia still refuses Proteus’s love, and he is about to rape her, but Valentine intervenes. Proteus is immediately contrite. Valentine pities him and renounces all his affection for Silvia.

Julia returns to Proteus the ring she had forgotten to deliver. Proteus recognizes it as one he gave Julia and becomes suspicious. Julia reveals who she is, and Proteus remembers his love for her.

Julia reveals her true identity and is reconciled with Proteus. Proteus and Julia and Valentine and Silvia prepare to marry.

Thurio relinquishes his claim to Silvia and the Duke agrees that Valentine shall marry her. The outlaws are repealed from exile and the couples prepare for a double wedding.

To read complete play of Shakespeare’s “The Two Gentlemen of Verona”, click on the below link-

The Two Gentlemen of Verona – ORIGINAL TEXT

1 Comment

  1. Deepti says:

    Very much helpful and clear discription.
    Thank you 😊 maam


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