Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Two Gentlemen of Verona (Folger Shakespeare Library) Mass Market Paperback – January 1, 2006
|New from||Used from|
100 (Fiction) Books to Read in a Lifetime
AbeBooks.com, an Amazon Company, recommends a unique list of must-read books. Learn More on AbeBooks.com.
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
About the Author
William Shakespeare was born in April 1564 in the town of Stratford-upon-Avon, on England’s Avon River. When he was eighteen, he married Anne Hathaway. The couple had three children—an older daughter Susanna and twins, Judith and Hamnet. Hamnet, Shakespeare’s only son, died in childhood. The bulk of Shakespeare’s working life was spent in the theater world of London, where he established himself professionally by the early 1590s. He enjoyed success not only as a playwright and poet, but also as an actor and shareholder in an acting company. Although some think that sometime between 1610 and 1613 Shakespeare retired from the theater and returned home to Stratford, where he died in 1616, others believe that he may have continued to work in London until close to his death.
Barbara A. Mowat is Director of Research emerita at the Folger Shakespeare Library, Consulting Editor of Shakespeare Quarterly, and author of The Dramaturgy of Shakespeare’s Romances and of essays on Shakespeare’s plays and their editing.
Paul Werstine is Professor of English at the Graduate School and at King’s University College at Western University. He is a general editor of the New Variorum Shakespeare and author of Early Modern Playhouse Manuscripts and the Editing of Shakespeare and of many papers and articles on the printing and editing of Shakespeare’s plays.
Browse award-winning titles. See more
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top customer reviews
First of all, Proteus's friendship for Valentine is NOT strong enough to keep him from betraying him in order to try to win Sylvia's love. OK, so Valentine is a better friend, and a better person, than Proteus. That's fair. But Valentine goes from declaring flatly that he can never trust Proteus again once he learns of this, to forgiving him entirely just because he says he's sorry moments later. OK, Valentine is just a sucker for Proteus, and can't stay mad at him no matter what. That makes the character rather weaker and stupider than I think he's supposed to be percieved as, but let that slide. He then yields any interest he has in Sylvia to Proteus for friendship's sake, in spite of the fact that he'd just come upon Proteus trying to rape her. This makes him both an idiot and a worthless lover; it's one thing to count friendship higher than romantic love; it's another to subject your love to rape for friendship's sake. But ignore that; where this scene TRULY becomes intolerably, stupidly unbelievable is that Sylvia says not a peep of objection to this betrayal, and when Proteus winds up back with Julia, Sylvia cheerfully, happily is back with Valentine without so much as a suggestion that she has anything to forgive him for or any reason to think about whether this is a good idea. And Julia, who has been utterly betrayed by Proteus, and seen him not only try to seduce his "best friend's" love, but seen him try to rape her, likewise accepts him back into her life without so much as a hesitation to decide whether this is a good idea or not. All of this would have been dubious but possibly manageable if the ladies had spoken of how betrayed they were, but chosen to forgive their lovers for the sake of love, or some such rot, but to not even acknowledge that they have been badly used but are being generously forgiving simply ruins the play. I realize that this would have been considered less objectionable in Shakespeare's day than it is now, given the status (or lack thereof) of women in that society. I still think it would have been dubious even then, but if not, all that proves is that this play is thoroughly ruined for the modern reader/audience by being totally outdated, not unlike "The Merchant of Venice".
Two Gentlemen of Verona is an early Shakespeare "comedy". This is not necessarily a comedy as we now understand it. Personally, Shakespeare always makes me cringe in every so called comedy that I have ever read and watched. This play is no exception. Simply read in a vacuum I don't find this play anything special. As an early play it does not reflect the magestic style of later works. Also, I also always feel the need to make allowances for the different times when these plays were written. By current standards, these plays are often misogynistic and laced with other cultural biases.
Shakespeare is a central figure in Western Literature. As such, he bears study. For me, Shakespeare was and is not always an easy read. Therefore I have found that studying his early works with proper study aides greatly enhances the experience of understanding Shakesepare. There are ideas and themes which show up in this play that Shakespeare developes in future plays. Females dressing as males, intrique between friends, misunderstandings, all can be found in future comedies.
In summary, I feel the greatest value in reading and studying this play is for the purposes of comparing and contrasting to his later works. Thank You...
Gentlemen is a wonderful way for anyone to get initially acquainted with Shakespeare and for those who know him well to admire him all the more. Finally, this edition contains several helpful articles and a good translation of words that are not understandable by modern readers.