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Quotes

Quote #10

Come Proteus […]
our day of marriage shall be yours;
One feast, one house, one mutual happiness. (5.4.14)

Here, Valentine tells Proteus they should all celebrate by have a double wedding. This is pretty typical of Shakespearean comedy, which always ends in marriage. Does this mean that Valentine's bromance with Proteus is being replaced by his marriage to Silvia? Not necessarily. Valentine says the double wedding will be "one feast, one house, one mutual happiness."

This whole "mutual happiness" comment seems to play on the biblical idea that, when a man and woman marry, they become united as "one flesh" (Genesis 2.24). The funny thing is, Valentine isn't talking to his future wife here. He's speaking to Proteus. What's up with that? Does Valentine mean that Proteus will enjoy "one mutual happiness" with his bride-to-be? Does he suggest that Valentine and Proteus will share "one mutual happiness"? Is Valentine saying that both couples will enjoy "one mutual happiness"? Something else?

These final lines are pretty tricky. How we interpret them is likely to determine how we interpret the entire play – does Valentine's final speech resolve all of the tension between male friendship and male-female romance that we've seen throughout the play? Or does it just raise even more questions about which kind of relationship is more important?

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