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The Two Gentlemen of Verona

The Two Gentlemen of Verona

Society and Class Quotes

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Quote #10

He thrusts me himself into the company of three or four
gentlemanlike dogs under the duke's table: he had
not been there--bless the mark!--a pissing while, but
all the chamber smelt him. 'Out with the dog!' says
one: 'What cur is that?' says another: 'Whip him
out' says the third: 'Hang him up' says the duke.
I, having been acquainted with the smell before,
knew it was Crab, and goes me to the fellow that
whips the dogs: 'Friend,' quoth I, 'you mean to whip
the dog?' 'Ay, marry, do I,' quoth he. 'You do him
the more wrong,' quoth I; ''twas I did the thing you
wot of.' He makes me no more ado, but whips me out
of the chamber. How many masters would do this for
his servant? (4.4.1)

As Lance recounts how he saved Crab from punishment for peeing under the Duke's table, we learn that Lance took a whipping for his dog. Though we don't see this violence on stage, it seems like much of the humor in the play revolves around Lance's stories about being physically abused by his social "betters." This anticipates the kind of slap-stick humor we see in Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors, where the servants (the Dromio brothers) are always being smacked around.

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