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The Two Gentlemen of Verona Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. What does the play value more – male friendship or marriage? Does the play ever reconcile the tension between the two?
  2. Why does Valentine forgive Proteus so quickly and easily after Proteus tries to rape Silvia in Act 5, Scene 4?
  3. How does Two Gentlemen of Verona compare to Shakespeare's other "comedies" (like A Midsummer Night's Dream, As You Like It, and Twelfth Night)? Does Shakespeare take ideas, themes, or conventions from Two Gentlemen and rework them in his later plays?
  4. What's the function of the servants in Two Gentlemen? How do the antics of Lance and Speed create meaning in the play? Do they have any impact on the plot? What do they contribute?
  5. "O heaven!" screams Silvia as Proteus tries to assault her (5.4.6). These two words are Silvia's last spoken lines in the play. She's silent while Valentine and Proteus make up, says nothing while Julia and Proteus get back together, and she watches silently as her father gives her as a "gift" to Proteus. If Silvia had a voice in the final moments of the play, what do you think she might have to say?

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