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The Two Gentlemen of Verona

(Annotated With Biography and Critical Essay)

The Two Gentlemen of Verona, a romance, is one of Shakespeare?s early plays, and was written in 1590 or 1591.? The setting is Verona, Milan, and a forest near Mantua of the sixteenth century. Two plot lines are intertwined in the play.? It is thought that Shakespeare borrowed the plot of love triangle from a Spanish story Diana published in 1559 and the story of friendship from an English story, The Boke Named the Governour, from 1531.? Many Shakespearean scholars believe that The Two Gentlemen of Verona was Shakespeare?s first play.? ? The play begins with Valentine, a ?gentleman of Verona,? seeking adventure, leaving that place to serve the Duke of Milan.? He falls in love with the Duke?s daughter, Silvia.? Valentine?s friend, Proteus, another gentleman of Verona, although reluctant to leave, is sent to Milan by his father. ? Proteus has a steady love interest, Julia, who he claims to love, but when he arrives in Milan he falls in love with Silvia too.? The wealthy Thurio is also in love with her.? The friendship of Valentine and Proteus is challenged when Proteus foils Valentine?s plot to elope with Silvia.? After discovering the elopement plot, Silvia?s father, the Duke of Milan, banishes Valentine, who joins a gang of outlaws. ? This annotated edition includes a biography and critical essay.

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