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The Two Gentlemen of Verona (Arden Shakespeare: Third Series) Paperback – March 18, 2004
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A loving couple, grieving the loss of their son, finds their marriage in free fall when a beautiful, long-lost acquaintance inserts herself into their lives. Learn More
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About the Author
William C. Carroll is Professor of English at Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts. His publications include The Great Feast of Language in 'Love's Labour's Lost', The Metamorphoses of Shakespearean Comedy, and Fat King, Lean Beggar: Representations of Poverty in the Age of Shakespeare. In addition, he has edited Thomas Middleton's Women Beware Women for the New Mermaid series and Macbeth: Texts and Contexts for the Bedford Shakespeare.
Top Customer Reviews
I read this as an undergraduate in college, and found it to be fun, but now as an adult and having read all of Shakespeare's works (and even other author's interpretations of Shakespeare's work such as The Tragedy of Arthur and Macbeth II: The Seed Of Banquo) I find the work to be mediocre and predictable. That isn't to say it isn't good - but as the Reduced Shakespeare Company says, "Why Did You Write Sixteen Comedies, When You Could've Written Just 1?"
It's true. This play is the same as TAMING, MIDSUMMER, MERRY WIVES, and others (well, not really the Tempest - but none of his plays are like the Tempest), and it really is the formulaic inspiration that is copied in the other comedy texts. It is effective in one major place - the fact that it made Mr. Shakespeare money, and he was well aware of what his audiences liked.
That is not to say it is a bad play - it isn't at all. There are some genuinely funny places in it (my favorite, "...but you are so without these follies that these follies are within you, and shine through you like the water in an urinal").Read more ›
Being one of Shakespeare's early plays the plot is a little inconsistant. It seems in the last scene that shakespeare just wanted to finish the play and therefore everything happens in a few pages that makes it a little unrealistic.
The play does have some lovely speeches though, and is quite comical and an easy story to follow.
According to my studies, it is generally believed that this is an early work of Shakespeare, maybe his first "comedy" and maybe his first play. It is seldom performed. And for me, reading Shakespeare is not as enjoyable as watching a good performance.
If it is correct that this is an early Shakespeare play, and I think that it is, one of the most valuable aspects of the play is reading it and comparing it to his later work. There is a gentleman named Harold Bloom who writes about literature. Mr. Bloom has observed if one reads an early Shakespeare play and compare it to some of his contemporaries, such as Christopher Marlowe, Shakespeare is more or less just another decent playwright. I have followed Mr. Bloom's advice and done this. I agree with Mr. Bloom.
Shakespeare evolves and emerges as a unique playwright in later plays. I think that is why an early play like this is seldom performed. I mean, when is the last time you saw a performance of a play by Christerpher Marlowe? Anyway this, to me, is the true value of Two Gentlemen of Verona.
Also, this play is classified as a "comedy". This does not mean this is slapstick such as a prime time network sitcom. As best I can tell it means the play has a happy ending. There are parts of this play that makes me cringe. I have read several Shakespeare "comedies". I have never read one that did not make me cringe at some point.
Shakespeare also seems to write stories that trivialize women. That may have been normal at this time in history, despite the fact that the ruler of England was Queen Elizabeth I.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I like Shakespeare. He has such a great gift with words. Even the names he gives his characters are humorous. I find this play both interesting and funny.Published 3 months ago by Brian Newman
Poor edition. Don't buy the Golgotha Press edition. Basic introduction, badly formatted text.Published 5 months ago by HR
Classic Shakespeare: ridiculous plot, gender swapping, balcony serenading and a sudden unbelievable ending. But it's beautifully written so who cares?Published 8 months ago by Jeremy
I read this with my 7yo daughter, after reading a retelling, and we both enjoyed it. High school left me with an unfavorable impression of Shakespeare, but this was laugh out loud... Read morePublished 9 months ago by stacy
Recently saw the play staged in a very non-traditional space, so I wanted to see how Shakespeare had set the original play.Published 17 months ago by kostby
A Review of THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA by William Shakespeare
by Dr. Joseph Suglia
Perhaps the first of the Shakespearean comedies, and doubtless the... Read more