The Two Gentlemen of Verona

The Two Gentlemen of Verona


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While the word “gentlemen” suggests that its heroes are adults, The Two Gentlemen of Verona is more intelligible if we think of them as boys, leaving home for the first time. One has a crush on a girl, Julia, though he hasn’t yet told her.

Sent to court to learn to be “perfect gentlemen,” Valentine and Proteus are derailed by their attraction to Sylvia, the ruler’s daughter. Valentine’s mental denseness does not deter Sylvia from returning his love, but he is caught, and banished, when he tries to elope with her. Proteus’s desire for Sylvia wipes out his former love, leading him into despicable acts that win scorn from Sylvia and wound Julia, who has pursued him disguised as a boy.

When Sylvia follows Valentine into banishment, Proteus follows Sylvia, and Julia follows Proteus, the stage is set for a disturbing ending. But the stage is also set for the “gentlemen” to take small steps toward maturity.

The authoritative edition of The Two Gentlemen of Verona from The Folger Shakespeare Library, the trusted and widely used Shakespeare series for students and general readers, includes:

-Freshly edited text based on the best early printed version of the play
-Full explanatory notes conveniently placed on pages facing the text of the play
-Scene-by-scene plot summaries
-A key to the play’s famous lines and phrases
-An introduction to reading Shakespeare’s language
-An essay by a leading Shakespeare scholar providing a modern perspective on the play
-Fresh images from the Folger Shakespeare Library’s vast holdings of rare books
-An annotated guide to further reading

Essay by Jeffrey Masten

The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, is home to the world’s largest collection of Shakespeare’s printed works, and a magnet for Shakespeare scholars from around the globe. In addition to exhibitions open to the public throughout the year, the Folger offers a full calendar of performances and programs. For more information, visit

Title:The Two Gentlemen of Verona
Edition Language:English
Format Type:

    The Two Gentlemen of Verona Reviews

  • Barry Pierce

    There is literally a whole monologue in which a guy complains about his dog pissing on everything. ...

  • 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 conc...

  • Ahmad Sharabiani

    The Two Gentlemen of Verona, William ShakespeareThe Two Gentlemen of Verona is a comedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between 1589 and 1593. It is considered by some to be Shak...

  • Michael Finocchiaro

    Allegedly, Shakespeare’s first play, Two Gentleman of Verona is a farcical love story complete with a cross-dressing lover, à loquacious dog owner, and many humorous scenes. One must look past the ...

  • Calista

    The ending on this one is strange indeed. That ending really makes the book hard to accept as a modern reader. I read some commentary and people were speaking of this being about friendship between me...

  • Lisa

    Metamorphoses in love and friendship, and a dog called CrabShakespeare’s first play, a comedy on friendship, love, deception and character change, shows the wit and humour, the funny dialogues and f...

  • Riku Sayuj

    The Two Cads of Verona Will’s first tentative venture - and it tells a lot about the play that one of the reasons it is considered so is precisely because of the quality of the play! The critics ...

  • Kelly

    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...

  • Eliza

    1/5 StarsYeah... no thank you. I had to read this in my Shakespeare class this week, and let me tell you, as Shakespeare's first play, it's not his best. Midsummer's Night Dream is far better, and I w...

  • Darwin8u

    "That man that hath a tongue, I say is no man,If with his tongue he cannot win a woman.-- William Shakespeare, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act III, Scene IThe first play in my First Folio journey is ...