Two Gentleman of Verona follows two best friends: Valentine and Proteus. Valentine is about to depart Verona for the more cosmopolitan city of Milan, while Proteus is staying behind to woo the lovely Julia. Proteus’ father has other plans for him, however, and instructs him to follow Valentine to Milan to pursue his education. Meanwhile, in Milan, Valentine has fallen in love with the duke’s beautiful daughter, Silvia, whom Proteus, upon his arrival, falls for as well: all too quickly forgetting his feelings for Julia, whom he has sworn himself to back home. Trouble (obviously) ensues as Proteus thwarts his best friend’s plans to elope, Julia comes to Milan to find her love doting on a new lady, and Valentine discovers Proteus attempting to force himself upon Silvia in the woods. Shakespeare’s investigation of friendship, love, faithfulness, and fickleness, this tale takes us on a journey across Northern Italy, asking us, with wit, humor, and poignancy, to question the forces that bind us together and tear us apart.
Two Gentlemen of Verona guide sections