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The Two Gentlemen of Verona

The Two Gentlemen of Verona


by William Shakespeare

The Two Gentlemen of Verona Lies and Deceit Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Act.Scene.Line). Line numbers correspond to the Norton edition.

Quote #1

How angerly I taught my brow to frown,
When inward joy enforced my heart to smile! (1.2.65-66)

Julia admits that when she learned how Proteus had written her a letter, she was jumping for joy on the inside. But, she disguised her true feelings by pretending to be angry at his forwardness. In the first scene especially, Julia tends to play a lot of mind games when it comes to romance.

Quote #2

I mean that her beauty is exquisite, but her
favor infinite.
That's because the one is painted and the other
out of all count. (2.1.53-57)

Here, Speed makes a nasty little jab at the practice of wearing makeup, which he perceives as a deceptive practice. According to Speed, the only reason Silvia looks like a "beauty" is because she covers her face with a "painted" mask.

We see this same kind of attitude toward women and cosmetics in plays like Hamlet, where, for example, King Claudius compares his "painted word[s]" (every lie he tells) to the way a "harlot" "plasters" her face with makeup:

The harlot's cheek, beautied with plastering art,
Is not more ugly to the thing that helps it
Than is my deed to my most painted word: (3.1.4)

Quote #3

What means your Ladyship? Do you not like it?
Yes, yes, the lines are very quaintly writ,
But since unwillingly, take them again.
Nay, take them.              She again offers him the paper
Madam, they are for you.
Ay, ay. You writ them, sir, at my request,
But I will none of them. They are for you.
I would have had them writ more movingly. (2.1.122-129)

Julia isn't the only female character to play coy when it comes to romance. Here, Silvia becomes angry at Valentine for failing to realize that she wanted him to write her a love letter. The thing is, it's Silvia's own fault because, instead of just coming out and saying that she wanted a love note, she asked poor Valentine to write a letter to a "friend" of hers. We shouldn't be too hard on Silvia, though. After all, once she and Valentine are (secretly) engaged, she's incredibly loyal to him.

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