The Two Gentlemen of Verona

Two close friends living in Verona, Valentine and Proteus, take leave of each other. Valentine is setting out on his travels on his own because Proteus will not leave his beloved Julia and has decided to stay in Verona. Julia is interested in Proteus’ attention and treasures the love letter he has sent her, but feigns a mild rather than a passionate interest.

Proteus’ father, Antonio, sends him on a mission to Milan, however. When he arrives at the Duke of Milan’s court he finds that Valentine is there and has fallen in love with Silvia, the duke’s daughter. Silvia returns his love. Proteus, who has sworn love and fidelity to Julia falls in love with Silvia at first sight. In the meantime, the duke is planning the marriage of Silvia to the foolish Thurio. Valentine plans to elope with Silvia but the jealous Proteus tells the duke of the plot and Valentine is caught carrying a rope ladder to Silvia’s window. The duke banishes Velentine and Proteus woos Silvia with songs and declarations of love. She scorns him and reminds him about Julia.

Julia arrives in Milan, disguised as a pageboy, Sebastian. Proteus sends her (as a pageboy) with the ring that she, Julia, has given him. Silvia has promised him a picture of herself although she is still devoted to the absent Valentine.

In the meantime, Valentine has been captured by a band of aristocratic outlaws who make him their chief. Silvia persuades a courtier, Sir Eglamour, to accompany her to Mantua to find Velentine and she is also captured by the outlaws. The duke and Thurio go after her, taking Proteus with them. Julia, still disguised, follows him. Proteus rescues Silvia. He tries to force himself on her but Velentine prevents him. They quarrel and are reconciled. All this is heard by Julia and, misunderstanding, she thinks that Valentine is yielding his interest in Silvia to Proteus. She faints in front of them. Proteus recognises the ring he has given her and when her identity is revealed, Proteus’ love for her is revived.

The outlaws have captured the duke and Thurio. They trick Thurio into showing his cowardice by denying Silvia. The duke approves the marriage of Silvia and Valentine; the two couples agree to share a wedding day and the duke pardons the outlaws.


Duke of Milan, father to Silvia
Proteus, the two gentlemen
Antonio, father to Proteus
Thurio, a foolish rival to Valentine
Eglamour, agent for Silvia in her escape
Host, where Julia lodges
Outlaws (1, 2, 3), with Valentine
Speed, a clownish servant to Valentine
Launce, the like to Proteus
Panthino, servant to Antonio
Julia, beloved of Proteus
Silvia, beloved of Valentine
Lucetta, waiting-woman to Julia

Servants, musicians.