The Two Gentlemen of Verona
Marriage Quotes Page 2
How we cite our quotes:
'Silvia, this night I will enfranchise thee.'
'Tis so; and here's the ladder for the purpose. (3.1.18)
Uh-oh. Valentine is totally busted when the Duke finds a love letter to Silvia in Valentine's coat. When a rope ladder falls out of Valentine's jacket, it's also pretty clear that Valentine is planning on pulling a "Romeo and Juliet" maneuver by climbing up to Silvia's window and then eloping with the Duke's daughter. Like Romeo, Valentine is banished from the city limits and the love of his life when the Duke catches him. Good thing Two Gentlemen of Verona is a comedy and not a tragedy – comedies always end in marriage, so it's a pretty safe bet that things will work out for Silvia and Valentine.
She hath more qualities than a water-spaniel;
which is much in a bare Christian.
Pulling out a paper
Here is the cate-log of her condition.
'Imprimis: She can fetch and carry.' Why, a horse
can do no more: nay, a horse cannot fetch, but only
carry; therefore is she better than a jade. 'Item:
She can milk;' look you, a sweet virtue in a maid
with clean hands. (3.1.6)
When Lance announces that he's fallen in love with an unnamed woman, he proceeds to make a list of all her best features. It's pretty clear that Lance is interested in qualities that would make for a good wife, which, in Lance's mind, seems to be nothing more than a servant. It also seems like Shakespeare is using Lance to parody and make fun of the way the men (especially Thurio) in the play view love and marriage.
Thou art not ignorant what dear good will
I bear unto the banish'd Valentine,
Nor how my father would enforce me marry
Vain Thurio, whom my very soul abhors.
Thyself hast loved; and I have heard thee say
No grief did ever come so near thy heart
As when thy lady and thy true love died,
Upon whose grave thou vow'dst pure chastity. (4.3.3)
Here, Silvia asks her good friend Eglamour to help her run away and find Valentine. When Silvia explains why she's chosen to ask Eglamour for help, she reveals something interesting about his past. Eglamour, it seems, was married once and is now a widower. Not only that, but he loved his late wife so much that, since her death, he's sworn off all other women. It seems like Eglamour is one of the most loyal men in the play, which makes him a foil to the unfaithful Proteus.