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The Two Gentlemen of Verona

The Two Gentlemen of Verona


by William Shakespeare

The Two Gentlemen of Verona Act 2, Scene 6 Summary

  • Proteus appears alone on stage and delivers a big speech to the audience (a.k.a. a "soliloquy"), which takes up the entire scene. We'll break it down in a second, but the speech boils down to Proteus deciding to do what's best for Proteus.
  • At first, Proteus acknowledges that, if he leaves Julia and wrongs Proteus by loving "fair Silvia," then he's a jerk. But then, he suggests that "Love" is the culprit here and love is "tempt[ing]" him to betray his girl and his best pal. (Funny how that works out so Proteus is responsible for any of his actions, isn't it?)
  • Proteus goes on to say, "At first I did adore a twinkling star,/ But now I worship a celestial sun." Translation: Julia is pretty cute, but Silvia is insanely gorgeous.
  • Proteus then rationalizes that the only way he can be true to himself is by betraying Valentine and Julia.
  • Proteus then decides that Valentine will be his "enemy" and Julia will be "dead" to him.
  • Finally, Proteus resolves to get Valentine in big time trouble with the Duke of Milan – Proteus will tattle to the Duke that Valentine plans to elope with Silvia. The Duke, of course, will be enraged since he's got plans for his daughter to marry Thurio.

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