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The Two Gentlemen of Verona

The Two Gentlemen of Verona


by William Shakespeare

The Two Gentlemen of Verona Transformation Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Act.Scene.Line). Line numbers correspond to the Norton edition.

Quote #1

I leave myself, my friends and all, for love.
Thou, Julia, thou hast metamorphosed me,
Made me neglect my studies, lose my time,
War with good counsel, set the world at nought;
Made wit with musing weak, heart sick with thought. (1.1.67-71)

Proteus claims that his love for Julia has transformed him, and not in a good way. Ever since Julia came along, he no longer does his homework, he wastes all of his time, and he argues with his friends. What's more, Proteus claims that love has also made him weak witted (stupid).

Quote #2

Marry, by these special marks: first, you have
learned, like Sir Proteus, to wreathe your arms, like
a malecontent; to relish a love song like a robin
redbreast; to walk alone, like one that had the
pestilence; to sigh, like a schoolboy that had lost his
ABC; to weep, like a young wench that had buried
her grandam; to fast, like one that takes diet; to
watch like one that fears robbing; to speak puling,
like a beggar at Hallowmas. You were wont, when
you laughed, to crow like a cock; when you walked,
to walk like one of the lions; when you fasted, it was
presently after dinner; when you looked sadly, it
was for want of money. And now you are metamorphosed
with a mistress, that when I look on you, I
can hardly think you my master. (2.1.18-32)

When Valentine falls for Silvia, Speed accuses him of being so "metamorphosed" by love that he can hardly recognize Valentine as his master. Speed's laundry list of comparisons (Valentine used to walk like a "lion" but now he weeps like a "young wench," and so on) emphasizes Speed's point – Valentine has undergone a complete transformation. We see this same idea in plays like A Midsummer Night's Dream and Taming of the Shrew, where love has the capacity to alter those who are under its spell.

Quote #3

You never saw her since she was deformed.
How long hath she been deformed?
Ever since you loved her.
I have loved her ever since I saw her, and
still I see her beautiful.
If you love her, you cannot see her. (2.1.63-68)

Valentine thinks Silvia is the most beautiful woman on earth, but, here, Speed deflates his love for Silvia by insisting that love has "blinded" Valentine, or has at least impaired his vision. Speed insists that, by falling in love with Julia, Valentine caused Julia to be "deformed." Translation: Valentine is wearing love goggles, which distorts Valentine's image of her.

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