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Two Gentlemen of Verona

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare

Summary of the plot or story
Shakespeare's plot centres around Valentine and Proteus, two gentlemen of Verona, who travel to Milan and learn about the world of courtship. They are best friends. But love for the same woman comes between them. The women in the play are Sylvia and Julia. Using the ploy of disguises, as in other Shakespeare plays, true love prevails and the friends are reconciled and look to share 'one mutual happiness'

Information provided about the play
William Shakespeare never published any of his plays and therefore none of the original manuscripts have survived. Eighteen unauthorised versions of his plays were, however, published during his lifetime in quarto editions by unscrupulous publishers (there were no copyright laws protecting Shakespeare and his works during the Elizabethan era).

A collection of his works did not appear until 1623 (a full seven years after Shakespeare's death on April 23, 1616) when two of his fellow actors, John Hemminges and Henry Condell, posthumously recorded his work and published 36 of Williamís plays in the First Folio. Some dates are therefore approximate other dates are substantiated by historical events, records of performances and the dates plays appeared in print.

Date first performed
It is believed that The Two Gentlemen of Verona was first performed between 1594 and 1595. In the Elizabethan era there was a huge demand for new entertainment and The Two Gentlemen of Verona would have been produced immediately following the completion of the play.

Date first printed
It is believed that the script was first printed in 1623 in the First Folio. As William Shakespeare clearly did not want his work published details of the play would have therefore been noted, and often pirated without his consent, following a performance.

The settings for the drama
The settings for The Two Gentlemen of Verona are Verona, Milan and a forest near Mantua in Italy.

Theme of the play
The play is categorised as a Comedy.

Number of words in the script
The number of words in The Two Gentlemen of Verona, according to the Complete Public Domain Text is 18,368.

Most important characters
The most important characters in the play are: Valentine, Proteus, Julia and Sylvia.

Famous Quotes / Quotations
The quotes from the Two Gentlemen of Verona are amongst Shakespeare's most famous including 'Who is Sylvia?'. Details of this famous quote, which is in a poem, follows, complete with information regarding the Act and the Scene, allowing a quick reference to the section of the play that this quotation can be found in. Please click here for the full text of the script of the play.

"Who is Sylvia?". (Act IV, Scene II).

History of the drama
The Two Gentlemen of Verona is purely fictional.

William Shakespeare's Main Source
Shakespeare found the source for the play in general Renaissance literature

The Cast and Characters
Click the link to access a list of all the cast and characters.

Text - script of Two Gentlemen of Verona the play by William Shakespeare
Cast and characters in The Two Gentlemen of Verona play by William Shakespeare
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