While some earlier sixteenth-century plays portray servants as shadows of the main characters (minor characters and servants often mimicked their masters' behaviors), Shakespeare does something relatively new in Two Gentlemen of Verona. In the play, the servants' attitudes towards marriage, love, loyalty, and social standing often call attention to the foibles of their masters. Shakespeare, then, is probably the first playwright to portray servants who are capable of defining the main characters. For example, Lance's devotion to his dog Crab draws our attention to Proteus's disloyalty to Julia and Valentine. The servants in Two Gentlemen are more than mere sounding boards and offer much more than mere comic relief.
In Two Gentlemen of Verona, the servants offer much more than comic relief – they function as foils to their masters.
The actions and speeches of Lance, Speed, and Lucetta reveal the foolishness and folly of the main characters.