List iconThe Two Gentlemen of VeronaList icon

The Two Gentlemen of Verona
Act 2, scene 6

Synopsis:

Contents

Characters in the Play

Entire Play

The Two Gentlemen of Verona tells the story of two devoted friends, Valentine and Proteus. Valentine leaves their home city of…

Act 1, scene 1

Valentine, preparing to leave for Milan, says farewell to Proteus, who stays in Verona to be near Julia. Valentine’s servant,…

Act 1, scene 2

Julia receives Proteus’ letter and pretends to be very angry at his presumption.

Act 1, scene 3

Proteus, reading a letter from Julia, encounters his father, Antonio, and tells him that the letter is from Valentine, who…

Act 2, scene 1

Valentine learns (with Speed’s help) that the letter Sylvia had him write conveying her love to an admirer was intended…

Act 2, scene 2

Proteus takes his leave of Julia, promising to be faithful and sealing their love with a kind of “handfasting” or…

Act 2, scene 3

Lance grieves that he must part from his family to travel with Proteus, and he chastises his dog, Crab, for…

Act 2, scene 4

Proteus arrives and is greeted by Valentine and Sylvia. He immediately falls in love with Sylvia.

Act 2, scene 5

Lance describes for Speed the tender parting of Proteus from Julia and hears about Valentine’s love for Sylvia.

Act 2, scene 6

Proteus decides to betray Valentine’s elopement plans to Sylvia’s father as a step on the way to winning Sylvia for…

Act 2, scene 7

Julia decides to follow Proteus to Milan and asks Lucetta to help her disguise herself as a page.

Act 3, scene 1

Proteus betrays Valentine’s elopement plans to Sylvia’s father, who banishes Valentine. Proteus pretends to grieve with Valentine and, telling him…

Act 3, scene 2

The Duke enlists Proteus’ aid in making Sylvia fall in love with Thurio. Proteus offers to slander Valentine and to…

Act 4, scene 1

Valentine and Speed are captured by outlaws. Valentine agrees to become their captain.

Act 4, scene 2

Proteus serenades Sylvia, supposedly on Thurio’s behalf. As Julia watches, disguised as a page, Proteus sings his love song to…

Act 4, scene 3

Sylvia, determined to escape the pursuit of Thurio and Proteus, persuades Sir Eglamour to accompany her that evening on a…

Act 4, scene 4

Proteus learns to his horror that Lance has tried to present Crab to Sylvia as a gift. Proteus then sends…

Act 5, scene 1

Sylvia and Sir Eglamour set out on their journey.

Act 5, scene 2

The Duke informs Proteus and Thurio of Sylvia’s flight. They each decide to follow her.

Act 5, scene 3

Sylvia is captured by the outlaws, while Sir Eglamour flees.

Act 5, scene 4

As Valentine watches from hiding, Sylvia is brought in by Proteus, who has taken her from the outlaws. Proteus pleads…

Include links to:

Images
Glosses
Audio
Video
Essays
Quill icon
Scene 6
Enter Proteus alone.

PROTEUS 
 To leave my Julia, shall I be forsworn.
 To love fair Sylvia, shall I be forsworn.

79
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 2. SC. 6

 To wrong my friend, I shall be much forsworn.
 And ev’n that power which gave me first my oath
5 Provokes me to this threefold perjury.
 Love bade me swear, and love bids me forswear.
 O sweet-suggesting Love, if thou hast sinned,
 Teach me, thy tempted subject, to excuse it.
 At first I did adore a twinkling star,
10 But now I worship a celestial sun;
 Unheedful vows may heedfully be broken,
 And he wants wit that wants resolvèd will
 To learn his wit t’ exchange the bad for better.
 Fie, fie, unreverend tongue, to call her bad
15 Whose sovereignty so oft thou hast preferred
 With twenty thousand soul-confirming oaths.
 I cannot leave to love, and yet I do.
 But there I leave to love where I should love.
 Julia I lose, and Valentine I lose;
20 If I keep them, I needs must lose myself;
 If I lose them, thus find I by their loss:
 For Valentine, myself; for Julia, Sylvia.
 I to myself am dearer than a friend,
 For love is still most precious in itself,
25 And Sylvia—witness heaven that made her fair—
 Shows Julia but a swarthy Ethiope.
 I will forget that Julia is alive,
 Rememb’ring that my love to her is dead;
 And Valentine I’ll hold an enemy,
30 Aiming at Sylvia as a sweeter friend.
 I cannot now prove constant to myself
 Without some treachery used to Valentine.
 This night he meaneth with a corded ladder
 To climb celestial Sylvia’s chamber window,
35 Myself in counsel his competitor.
 Now presently I’ll give her father notice

81
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 2. SC. 7

 Of their disguising and pretended flight,
 Who, all enraged, will banish Valentine,
 For Thurio he intends shall wed his daughter.
40 But Valentine being gone, I’ll quickly cross
 By some sly trick blunt Thurio’s dull proceeding.
 Love, lend me wings to make my purpose swift,
 As thou hast lent me wit to plot this drift.
He exits.