Two Gentlemen of Verona Acts III, IV, and V

Proteus is the WORST!

Act III, Scene 1

Proteus address the Duke and tells him all about Valentine’s plan to steal away his daughter in the night. The Duke reprimands himself for not putting a stop to this love affair earlier. He resigns to banishing Valentine. Proteus, still feigning loyalty to a friends, asks that the Duke not reveal his role in the betrayal. The Duke promises and Proteus runs off.

Valentine rushes past the Duke wearing a large cloak. The Duke stops him because he has a problem he needs Valentine’s help with (wink, wink). You see, the Duke is in love with a young woman, but she is promised to another and doesn’t seem to appreciate his mature elegance. Valentine eventually stumbles into revealing his own plot by suggesting that the Duke use a rope ladder to steal the lady away in the night. The Duke thinks this is a great idea and asks if Valentine could get him such a ladder. Valentine says that he could. The Duke worries about how he would conceal such a ladder. Valentine assures him it could be hidden under a cloak…much like the one he is wearing now. The Duke asks if he could try on Valentine’s cloak, so he could get fitted for a similar one. Valentine reluctantly hands it over and his plot is revealed. The Duke banished him from Milan.

Valentine is broken hearted over the loss of his sweet Silvia. He cannot imagine a life without her. Proteus and Launce seek out Valentine, who sits despondent over the state of his life. Proteus tells him he has bad news. Valentine fears that Silvia is dead, or has forsworn him. Neither has happened. Proteus tells Valentine that despite Silvia’s begging, he is still banished. Proteus convinces Valentine that if he leaves, he has hope of seeing his love again. If he stays, he guarantees that he will never see her again. Valentine is convinced and asks Launce to tell Speed to meet him at the North gate.

When Speed approaches, he finds Launce looking upon a love letter. It speaks of a woman who has fewer and fewer good qualities the longer the letter progresses. It’s not until they have read the whole letter that Launce tells Speed that Valentine is waiting for him. Speed curses him and runs off.

Act III, Scene 2

The Duke and Thurio seek out Proteus’ help with Silvia. She seems to hate Thurio more than ever now. The Duke asks Proteus to help them bring Silvia around. Proteus says he will slander Valentine and build up Thurio. They trust that Proteus isn’t seeking to woo Silvia for himself because he is already in love.

Proteus explains to Thurio that he has to try harder. He urges Thurio to write a song for Silvia and have it played for her beneath her window that very night. They all agree that this is a great plan and leave to execute it.

Act IV, Scene 1

Valentine, as he flees from Milan, runs in to some outlaws in the woods on Mantua. He explains to the outlaws that he was banished from Milan because he killed a man in a duel for which he feels very guilty. The outlaws relate to to his plight and decide to make him their king. They explain that they were also banished for petty crimes, like trying to steal away ladies…and stabbing a man in the heart… Valentine accepts but demands that they never cause harm to a woman or rob poor people. They agree because they are noble outlaws, much like Robin Hood and his merry men.

Act IV, Scene 2

Proteus enters beneath Silvia’s Tower in the night, lamenting the fact that every single time he expresses his love for Silvia, she brings up Valentine and Julia. That’s when Thurio enters with the musicians in order to woo Silvia.

Julia, dressed as a man, walks in on the scene. As Proteus begins to sing to Silvia, she realizes that his affections toward her have changed. She speaks with her host about how Proteus clearly doesn’t love her anymore. The host has been speaking to Launce and confirms that Proteus loves Silvia as he asked Launce to give her his dog.

Thurio and the musicians depart. Proteus now speaks to Silvia alone. He pledges his love to her and she brings up Julia. He tells Silvia that Julia is dead…unknowingly, in front of Julia. He also tries to tell Silvia that Valentine is dead, but she doesn’t buy it. He asks for his picture and she reluctantly agrees. Julia departs, broken-hearted.

Act IV, Scene 3

Silvia recruits a valiant knight, Sir Eglamour, to escort her out of Milan to find Valentine. She understands if he would rather remain loyal to the Duke and simply asks that he at least not expose her plot. Sir Eglamour agrees to keep her safe as she flees Milan. They decided to meet outside of the church that very evening.

Act IV, Scene 4

Poor Launce, he was asked by his master to give his dog, Crab, to Silvia and then his dog made of fool of himself. He saved this puppy, raised it for years, and it was rude in front of important people. Immediately upon entering the dining room, Crab stole food, made a mess under the table, and stunk up the place. Launce was ordered to remove the dog immediately.

Proteus enters with Julia/Sebastian. He has agreed to hire her/him. He asks Launce how Silvia liked the dog he sent her. She wasn’t a fan. Turns out Proteus had purchased a cute, little lap dog, but it was stolen while Launce was in the market place, so he brought her Crab, who is so much bigger. Proteus orders him to go and get the dog back.

Proteus asks Sebastian/Julia to bring Silvia this ring he received from a woman who loved him. Julia can’t hide her dismay and makes something up about pitying the poor girl. Proteus doesn’t seem to care and leaves.

Julia asks how Proteus can dislike her so much now that he would give away the ring she gave him.

Silvia comes by with her attendants. When Julia approaches on Proteus’ behalf, Silvia reluctantly gives her a picture. Then Julia, tries to give her a letter from Proteus, but Silvia tears it up. Then, Julia gives her the ring. Silvia refuses to accept it because she knows Julia gave it to her. Julia greatly respects her sympathy toward Julia. “Sebastian” explains that Julia was fairer, but neglected her appearance. He tells Silvia that Julia was of a similar stature to “him”. Silvia again expresses her sympathy for Julia and gives Sebastian some money for being so loyal to Julia.

Julia likes Silvia and compares herself to Silvia and finds herself a little wanting.

Act V, Scene 1

Silvia and Eglamour run off to find Valentine.

Act V, Scene 2

Thurio interrogates Proteus about how Silvia feels about him. Proteus apparently finds her to be lukewarm toward him. His face is alright, but she doesn’t like when he talks about war. She doesn’t doubt his valor and thinks well of his birth. Julia makes snide comments to the side the whole time.

The Duke storms in with the news that Friar Lawrence saw Silvia and Eglamour running off into the forest. Proteus and Thurio agree to go after her.

Act V, Scene 3

Silvia has been captured by outlaws because Sir Eglamour immediately abandoned her when trouble started.

Act V, Scene 4

Valentine contemplates how well suited the woods are for brooding and how much he likes his new outlaw friends. He conceals himself when he hears people coming.

Proteus has saved Silvia from the outlaws, but she still won’t love him. This, to him, is just outrageous. She brings up again how he abandoned his love for Julia and betrayed Valentine, who she still loves. This is when Proteus makes the wise decision to try a rape her. Valentine decides this is a good moment to reveal himself.

Upon being confronted by Valentine, Proteus immediately regrets all of his actions. Valentine immediately forgives him and offers to let him have Silvia…*sigh*. Julia swoons and upon waking reveals her true self. Proteus sort of apologizes to her and says that he sees now that there is nothing in Silvia that he can’t see in Julia with a “constant eye”…*siiiiiiigh*

Thurio and the Duke bust on to the scene and Thurio demands Silvia. Valentine draws his sword to fight for his love. Thurio basically puts up his hands and goes “nope. She hates me. I’m not getting hurt or killed for her.” The Duke rolls his eyes at Thurio’s cowardice and agrees to let Valentine marry his daughter.

Valentine also vouches for the noble outlaws and the Duke pardons them. And everyone lives happily ever after?

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