| Quote #7
O Proteus, let this habit make thee blush!
Although Julia is ashamed that she cross-dressed in order travel to Proteus, she says here that Proteus's behavior is even worse because his deception involved infidelity, which could have prevented their union in marriage. Julia's deception and social impropriety, on the hand, is excusable and justifiable because cross-dressing as "Sebastian" enabled her to reunite with Proteus and ensure a wedding match.
What's the big deal about Julia disguising herself as a boy, you ask? Well, sixteenth-century Puritans thought cross-dressing (especially on stage) was a major sin. Check out Phillip Stubbes's anti-theater rant in a book called The Anatomy of Abuses (1583): "Our apparel was given as a sign distinctive, to discern betwixt sex and sex, and therefore one to wear the apparel of another sex, is…to adulterate the verity of his own kind…these women [who cross-dress] may not improperly be called Hermaphroditi, that is Monsters of both kinds, half women, half men." So, this sort of explains why Julia has been feeling so ashamed of her disguise.
| Quote #8
We know what you're thinking. Why the heck does Julia take Proteus back (and agree to marry him) about two seconds after Proteus tries to rape Silvia? We're wondering the same thing ourselves. Some critics see this as evidence that Two Gentlemen is a lousy play – the reunion between Julia and Proteus is completely unrealistic. Other critics point out that the engagement may be abrupt and strange to us but "comedy" always ends in marriage so, we shouldn't be so surprised. So, what do you think about all this?
| Quote #9
In the play, it's Silvia's father who determines the conditions of her wedding. When Thurio announces that he doesn't want to marry Silvia, the Duke immediately offers Silvia to Valentine because he has earned ("deserved") her, as if the Duke's daughter is a possession that he can bestow on the man of his choosing. We also notice that Valentine responds to the offer in the same terms – he thanks the Duke for the generous "gift" (that would be Silvia).