The Two Gentlemen of Verona
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The Two Gentlemen of Verona

3.41 of 5 stars 3.41  ·  rating details  ·  5,740 ratings  ·  266 reviews
“They do not love that do not show their love.”
—Two Gentlemen of Verona

Eminent Shakespearean scholars Jonathan Bate and Eric Rasmussen provide a fresh new edition of the classic comedy of courtship and delicious rivalry.


• an original Introduction to Two Gentlemen of Verona
• incisive scene-by-scene...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published September 13th 2011 by Modern Library (first published 1623)
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This one was promising when it started out. The premise is essentially: two overprivileged self-centered teenage boys (Valentine and Proteus) go on study abroad. They are of course polar opposite best friends, natch, with very silly personal servants to comment on their even sillier masters' actions. One of them is a believer in the Power of Love and wants to stay home with the lady he SWOONS, he DIES for (for awhile anyway....), the other one doesn't believe in love and wants to go off adventur...more
Proteus (center) engages the Duke (left) and Thurio (right) in philosophical musings about the merits of bejeweled codpieces, roofies, and girls who cross-dress: Hot or Not? Not pictured: Valentine a.k.a The Wing Man.

I should start by saying that I am not, in general, a Shakespeare fan. I've read a few of his plays in high school and college, but I have never just read one on my own time. A friend landed the role of Valentine in a Chesapeake Shakespeare Company production, though, and I decided to read the play before showing up in the audience to support my friend (I had a disastrous trip to a Shakespeare in the Park production in Boston once, during which I understood almost nothing of what was happening a...more
Bill  Kerwin

Early in "Two Gentlemen of Verona," a character refers to a "shallow tale of deep love," but the play he himself inhabits is something worse, at least where the affection of these two gentlemen are concerned: it is a shallow tale of shallow love. Proteus shifts his love from one woman to another as quickly as he changes cities, and Valentine is prepared to give up the woman he loves to his friend Proteus, a person who has betrayed his trust and threatened his beloved with rape, all because Prote...more
Shakespeare is great for a reason. Unfortunately, the Two Gentlemen of Verona is not it. Like all Shakespeare comedies, this comedy bends the rules for comedy, and yet, as it veers off into what could potentially have been a darker twist on the human condition snuck into a mad-cap farce, Shakespeare ties the plot together too glibly to be believed. People who had been lying rascals are forgiven instantly, lovers who had been scorned too easily accept apologies, and friends betrayed gloss over th...more
Back around the turn of the 21st century, I opened an used bookstore, mainly mysteries, in a small Southern town and often wished someone would write book and play reviews for our weekday local newspaper. We had a glorious and intimate opera house that had been renovated to maintain its late Victorian structure. We had a director who was well aware that even though small in population, the presence of a four-year liberal arts college provided an audience for Shakespeare plays. To increase the at...more
Mary Ronan Drew
I recently spent an hour or two with my pal, Will. Mr Shakespeare and I are getting to know one another much better, lately. I call him Will and he calls me Marye. I read in school what they made me read of his work, I read or (mostly) re-read some of the plays over the decades, and a few years ago I read the sonnets. Most of the sonnets. I like sonnets. I’ve always loved structure.

But recently I’ve decided to read all of the plays. Imagine my surprise when I found some new ones. I really did th...more
While The Two Gentlemen of Verona is likely the Bard at his consummate worst, it is also one of his early plays, and is not without enjoyment in its own right. Herein is the early development of some of his major themes in comedy: disguise, homosocial relations, friendship, betrayal, misguided love. The play, which centers on two Veronese men, Proteus and Valentine, and their respective loves Julia and Silvia. The drama emerges from the two men's simultaneous pursuit for Silvia, and the resoluti...more
I do not seek to quench your love's hot fire,
But qualify the fire's extreme rage,
Lest it should burn above the bounds of reason.
Lucetta, Act II, Scene VII

I imagine Abbot and Costello performing dramatic devices from The Merchant of Venice for an idea which wouldn't fully mature until Romeo & Juliet.

Shakespeare's tale of romantic love may seem like shallow entertainment. However, as in most Shakespeare pieces, he weaves fundamental and universal elements of the human condition into this humor...more
Launce and his dog Crab are among the funniest scenes Shakespeare ever wrote, so this early play is proof of my claim that Shakespeare's a naturally comedic writer. Yes, he learned to write resonant, exalted lines from
Marlowe, but he seemed not to have imitated any specific comic writer except Plautus, who has no dog scenes I have ever read--though I did not read all of Plautus in my graduate Latin course on him.
In my Shakespeare course for several years I began with TGV; in fact, a couple year...more
OK, so Shakespeare's the great genius of the English language, and I'm certainly not going to argue with the how this was written. I will, however, state that the ending to this play sucks ass. I was shocked at how quickly everything was wrapped up, with everyone making nice with each other and no hard feelings, despite the fact that there was betrayal, broken hearts, and even what might be seen as an attempted rape. Come on now. Shakespeare's great, but the ending turned me off so much that I c...more
Hayat الياقوت
هذه من أوائل مسرحيات شكسبير، لذلك على القارئ ألا يتوقع شيئا مذهلا.
لكن من المفيد قراءتها للتعرف على كيفية تطور أسلوب الكاتب -أي كاتب- مع الوقت، وتطور أدواته، وأفكاره أيضا.
الترجمة ليست كما ينبغي. كان لدي حينما كنت في الثانوية ترجمةأفضل (ترجمة دار الكتب العلمية)، وكل مرة أبدأ في قراءتها ولا أكملها، ثم تبرعت بالكتاب مع جملة من الكتب.
الآن فقط صرت أتمنى لو أني أبقيت تلك النسخة.

عندي شعور أن شخصية روميو فيها شبه من بروتيو في هذه المسرحية. العابث الغارق في الحب، الذي كان يحب جوليا، ثم صار يجب سيلفيا. قد...more
For love, thou know’st, is full of jealousy.

William Shakespeares Debutstück „The Two Gentlemen of Verona” ist eher unbekannt, und das zu recht, denn, es ist einfach nur unglaublich schlecht. Der Plot an den Haare herbeigezogen und eine Charakterisierung der Figuren gibt es nicht wirklich oder sie ist einfach nur unglaubwürdig, hölzern, dümmlich.

Da ist zu einen Valentin, der anders als sein Name vermuten lässt, so gar nichts von Liebe hält. Valentin reist nach Verona den Hof des dortigen Herrsche...more
I saw a production of “The Two Gentlemen of Verona” when we arrived in Montana that was set during the nineteenth century and unfortunately was lost in translation. I picked up my copy of the play because I wanted to flesh out something of the things that were confusing — scene changes that didn’t happen, voices that where muddled due to a lack of microphones — and give this comedy of errors a second chance.

Two friends, Valentine and Proteus, begin this tale with a farewell in Verona; Valentine...more
The sexism strikes again. Apparently only a silent woman is a good woman. There was one whole monologue I almost typed up in which every word was delivered by a misogynist and which made me want to stop reading, but since I trust in Shakespeare I read on. Sadly I was disappointed. Because the woman (property of father, sold, given to another man to own, and no matter how often they tell them no the men just keep coming or more precise, the one does) can only try to reclaim their life by running...more
My review of this play was forestalled by my vacation, so now I'm looking back at this and thinking four stars, really? In retrospect it's probably a three, but I'll let my original impression hold. Certainly this play is enjoyable and odd - and enjoyably odd - notable for having many of Shakespeare's comedy tropes present in embryonic form: a young man, resolved to avoid the absurdities of love, immediately falls prey to a woman's charms; a woman disguises herself as a man and serves her love a...more
Those who find this to be a lesser play of Shakespeare's, I would claim, are looking for it to be something rather different than it is; it is not a piece of pure entertainment. Shakespeare is really doing the Spenserian sort of probing into the moral content of the concept of friendship, and asking his audience how far is too far, before allowing the elastic of the plot to snap back before it breaks (and it literally almost breaks into a rape scene!). Julia loves Proteus who loves Sylvia who lo...more
Garrett Cash
This play begins my prolonged study of the man considered to be the greatest writer in the English language, Mr. William Shakespeare. I first discovered that the Bard was not all about melodramatic lovers in tights committing suicide over each other when I viewed one of Akira Kurosawa’s many masterpieces, Throne of Blood, which sets Macbeth in feudal Japan. Because I discovered then that Shakespeare could use some serious murder, betrayal, and loads of violence I have wanted to study Shakespeare...more
Here's my favorite quote:
"Cease to lament what thou canst not help,
And study help for that which thou lament'st.
Time is the nurse and breeder of all good."

Well, it's a good play, and funny in parts. I dislike the banter between the servantmen; Serves no purpose in furthering the story. There are some very pretty lines and good scenes. Valentine and Silvia are excellent, admirable characters. All in all, though, not my favorite play.


I hate Proteus! What a jerk!...more
Lydia Shellenbarger
How can you do a concise review on Shakespeare? Elements of All's Well that Ends Well and Much Ado About Nothing, however, not as deep a plot as either of those, but refreshing... (view spoiler)

If you are an educator for highschool age, this is a v

Proteus could not have been better named. Is The Two Gentlemen of Verona a sly comment on how stupidly changeable young lovers can be? If it is, Julia is sacrificed at its expense-- she's got the cross-dressing chutzpah of Viola but the ever-beaten weakness of Helena. That's the thing about Two Gentlemen: the pieces don't fit, the characters lose you in service of the comedic structure. And as every critic would say, everything done here was done better later. There are a few lovely instances of...more
A Review of The Two Gentlemen of Verona by William Shakespeare
Rating: Three Stars

Edition: The Norton Shakespeare

Genre: Comedy/Play

About:The Two Gentlemen of Verona is one of Shakespeare's earliest plays, and it is quite obvious too. Besides being unpolished and feeling more like a tragedy than a comedy, it has limited characters and most scenes are not that memorable. It's definitely one of my least favorite Shakespearean plays.

It is funny to think of Shakespeare "developing" as a playwright -- it seems like he was just born Shakespeare. Yet in this early work, his language does fewer somersaults, and his metaphors reach less than those in his mega later works. These elements provide for a smoother, if slightly less vivid, read.

Very much enjoyed this play, leaving aside the fickleness of friendship and love it portrays and the incredibly rushed resolution:
"I will never forgive you!"
"I'm sorry."
"Ah, in that case, all is...more
Yersinia Pestis
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I recently completed reviews of Ibsen's entire dramatic works (those that are available in English translation at any rate), and would now like to do the same with Shakespeare.

It may well be asked if there is any point in reviewing Shakespeare, the most written-about of all writers. Is there anything new to say about him? Perhaps not, but I feel he is also the most misunderstood writer. One should take with a pinch of salt everything that even the most famous literary critics say about him.

The t...more
Russell Atkinson
It would be presumptuous of me to review a play by The Bard that has withstood the test of time, so I will just mention a few points that may help a reader trying to decide which Shakespearean drama to tackle. This one would be a good candidate.

I was tired of the formulaic"mysteries" (which are seldom mysterious) that populate the best-seller or recommended reading lists these days, so I picked up my copy of the complete works of Shakespeare to find something different. Actually, I picked up my...more
Apr 27, 2014 Nina rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Nina by: Marie Macaisa
Shelves: literary-fiction
Oy. Imagine a fast forward YouTube mash-up of The Best of Shakespeare. Here’s the balcony from Romeo & Juliet! Here’s the forest from Mid-Summer’s Night Dream! And the self-important fool from Much Ado About Nothing! Oh, and cross-dressing ladies disguised as pages from The Tempest (and Twelfth Night, and Cymbeline…)! There’s the sexual witticism “My tongue in your tail” from Taming of the Shrew! And love triangles, and banishments by angry fathers! How is Two Gentlemen of Verona not the per...more
The general consensus on Two Gentlemen is that it's an early play and more than a bit shaggy and is most interesting as a trial run for a number of motifs and methods that appear in later comedies and tragedies to better effect. You've got cross dressing, hiding in the forest where the law can't reach you, parallel love narratives, and overbearing fathers. There is also a ton of word play and end rhyme- which sometimes rings juvenile but is more often fun. And there are also two clown/jester fig...more
Leslie Rewis
Everyone in this play is stupidly in love.
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William Shakespeare (baptised 26 April 1564) was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon" (or simply "The Bard"). His surviving works consist of 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been tr...more
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“That man that hath a tongue, I say is no man, if with his tongue he cannot win a woman.” 16 likes
“She dreams of him that has forgot her love;
You dote on her that cares not for your love.
'Tis pity love should be so contrary;
And thinking of it makes me cry 'alas!”
More quotes…