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Two Gentlemen of Verona

 

As I was studying the play before starting rehearsals, I was struck by how many of the characters and situations in the play seem to be the genesis of things developed more fully in later stories. Julia and Sylvia in Two Gents seem to be early versions of Viola and Olivia in Twelfth Night. Julia dons the clothing of a young man and calls herself Sebastian; in Twelfth Night Sebastian is Viola’s twin brother. Sylvia, like Olivia, is portrayed as a wealthy aristocrat, rather vain and somewhat spoiled. Thurio, her pompous self-involved suitor, is the foundation of the puritanical Malvolio. Julia’s first scene with Lucetta is reminiscent of Portia and Nerissa in The Merchant of Venice. There are strong echoes too of Romeo and Juliet, particularly in Valentine’s love passages and in his banishment.


 

 

 

 

 

 


Launce and crab the dog,

(continued)


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