Talk:The Two Gentlemen of Verona

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The opening statement, that the play often is considered inferior and is seldom performed today is I think unjustified. The play is still perfomed often (it was half the season for New York's Shakespeare in the Park for 2005 for example). I agree that it is generally not considered one of Shakespeare's best plays, but it is still good and modern criticism of the play is more favorable than criticism of the past. Calling it inferior and seldom performed makes it appear that this play is just outright bad which it is not.

It doesn't say it's inferior, it says it's considered inferior by some. If modern criticism is becoming more favorable, you should add a note about that in the intro. :) The Singing Badger 21:20, 11 September 2005 (UTC)
I agree the play is performed more than the original author suspects. There are two productons of it in Los Angeles this summer, alone. perhaps "not as widely performed" —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Kivadiva (talkcontribs) 17:51, 16 June 2006 (UTC-7)

Source please?[edit]

Can you give a source for this change? I'm aware that you've pasted a lengthy synopsis into this page before, and I just want to be sure that this one doesn't violate anyone's copyright. I'll remove this in the next two days if there isn't a reply. AndyJones 21:28, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

User:Elesi replied at my talk page confirming he wrote this himself: therefore no copyvio. AndyJones 08:52, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

"Date and text"[edit]

This section seems contradictory/unclear to me. It seems to give two different publication times, and the wording makes things even more confusing. Can someone "in the know" clear this up? -Elmer Clark 03:59, 3 September 2007 (UTC)


Why all the "Lance" for "Launce" changes? Surely that's wrong per most sources. What was the source for the change, please? AndyJones (talk) 14:55, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

The source was the Oxford Shakespeare, which is supposed to be the most scholarly modern edition in existence, and on which the Norton Shakespeare is based. I agree that many sources still have Launce. I don't know what Oxford's rationale was for changing it. I've just consulted the Norton, which has very good notes on textual variants, and it didn't give any information. The first appearance of Lance in the play had a footnote saying merely that it was a shortened form of Lancelot. I'm sure there's some reason, like the rather annoying change from Imogen to Innogen in Cymbeline. If you want to change it back to Launce, feel free. I'm not attached to either spelling, and I'll try and do a bit more research and find out why the change was made. I'm just a bit busy over the next few days. Cowardly Lion (talk) 23:18, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
The Arden Shakespeare has Launce (and also has Imogen), and Launce is in the First Folio. I really don't mind. I'm inclined to go with Oxford, but perhaps I got a bit carried away from reading about how the Oxford edition was "the very latest in textual scholarship", etc. I still don't know why they changed it to Lance. Cowardly Lion (talk) 18:17, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
William Shakespeare: A Textual Companion by Stanley Wells is a sort of companion to the Oxford Shakespeare and explains the choices made by the editors. On page 167, in the chapter on the Two Gentlemen of Verona, it says:
Lance] F and editors spell 'Launce'. This 'may be the Christian name "Lance", a short form for Lancelot, or may signify "lance", the weapon or the surgical instrument' (Schäfer). There is no reason to retain F's spelling.
Erm, "no reason to retain F's spelling" doesn't seem the best reason to change it. I assumed, when I made the change on Wikipedia, that the Oxford edition editors had had some much more impressive reason for their decision. I've self reverted. Cowardly Lion (talk) 02:53, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

Googe's translation[edit]

From Jorge de Montemayor that references 1911 Britannica:

the indirect source, through the translation included in Googe's Eglogs, epytaphes and sonnets (1563), of an episode in The Two Gentlemen of Verona.

Our article does not mention a 1563 translation. --Error (talk) 00:32, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

I'll look it up and see what I can find. Cowardly Lion (talk) 00:01, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

Okay. I've looked at the introduction in the Oxford Shakespeare. It just says that the story of Proteus and Julia is "indebted to a prose fictions, Diana, written in Spanish by the Portuguese Jorge de Montemayor and first published in 1559." (p.1.) The introduction to the play in the Norton Shakespeare says that Shakespeare "drew on, but considerably altered a story found in a Spanish prose romance published in 1542, Jorge de Montemayor's Diana. This romance was translated into French in 1578 and was published in an English version in 1598, though the English translation was completed in the 1580s. Shakespeare, then, could conceivably have read the story in French or in the unpublished English version. He could also have learned of it from an anonymous court play of 1585, The History of Felix and Philiomena, now lost." (Norton Shakespeare: Comedies, p. 80.) Norton and Oxford are both supposed to be the "very latest" in Shakespearean scholarship. If you're wondering why one says 1542 and the other says 1559, see Jorge de Montemayor; there seems to have been some disagreement.

The Comedies volume of the four-volume Collins Shakespeare (1958, reprinted 1982) mentions Diana Enamorada as having been published in 1559, and translated into French in 1578; it says the English version of Bartholomew Younge was issued in 1598. It goes on to say that borrowings from the Diana had appeared in various forms, and that it's thought that a play entitled The History of Felix and Philomena, which was performed before the Queen in 1585, may have drawn on the Diana for its plot. The Collins introduction says that it's "certain" that Shakespeare directly or indirectly (through that anonymous play) drew on the story in the Diana when writing the Two Gentlemen. (Collins introduction toe Two Gentlemen from the Comedies, p. 74.)

I also have in front of me the Encyclopaedia of Shakespeare by Charles Boyce (Roundtable Press, 1990). Boyce claims that the story of Proteus and Julia clearly came from the Diana, which was "first printed in 1542. Although the first English translation, by Bartholomew Yong, was not published until 1598, Shakespeare probably knew the manuscript, which had been completed 16 years earlier, for there are many echoes of it in the play." (Boyce, 673.)

Boyce is the only one to specifically state that Yong's version was the first; but the other sources at least imply it, and none mention a 1563 translation. Perhaps the Britannica claim is inaccurate or has now been rejected. I'd find it hard to believe that so many modern Shakespearean scholars writing about the play are unaware of the 1563 translation if that information is now considered accurate and reliable, so I'd suggest we just ignore it. I'll post here if I find any more information about it. Cowardly Lion (talk) 11:37, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

Tony Award Winner[edit]

Wasn't this awarded a Tony for Best Musical when it played in 1972 or 1973 I think? Wasn't acclaimed actor Raul Julia in the original Broadway cast? He may have won a Tony for it as well. It was a huge success and one of the composers was also an original composer for "Hair" as well. Should not this be mentioned in the "Productions" section? —Preceding unsigned comment added by elure ___ May 14 2008208.36.163.180 (talk) 04:01, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

  • I assume you mean the Galt MacDermot et. al. adaptation. If so, and if you've got a reliable source, then yes, please feel free to add this info to the first sentence of the section "Plays" under "Adaptations". AndyJones (talk) 16:36, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

Gift of Silvia to Proteus[edit]

The article makes it sound like there is no doubt about what happens at the end of the play - Valentine simply gives Silvia to Proteus. However, this is by no means certain. There is a great deal of critical debate about the line "All that was mine in Silvia I give thee", with many critics suggesting it means "I will love you as much as I love Silvia", and numerous stagings have depicted it this way. The article needs to at the very least mention this ambiguity, as not to do so immediately places the whole article as out of touch with current scholarship. Bertaut (talk) 01:36, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

I've made some brief edits to the article to show the ambiguity, but they're fairly cursory. It's a start though. Bertaut (talk) 01:55, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

Smallest cast[edit]

This seems really unlikely, from looking at the cast lists for other plays. It's cited to a reliable source, but not to an online one; does anyone have the Carroll edition, to confirm what it says? Roscelese (talkcontribs) 21:13, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

I think the citation to Carroll is regarding the second half of the sentence, the part about it being considered one of Shakespeare's weakest plays as page 110 is in a section called "The Critical Tradition". As for the cast issue, to what other plays are you referring? I know I've personally read a couple of times that Verona has the smallest cast in his oeuvre; to give one solid example, it's mentioned in the intro to the play in the Norton Shakespeare, page 103 in my edition. I'm pretty sure its mentioned somewhere in Warren's edition for the Oxford Shaksepeare too. Having said that however, I'm not at all familiar with his later work, so I'm just going by what I've read. Bertaut (talk) 01:54, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
Twelfth Night, for example, seems to have fewer people, but that could be an error on Wikipedia's part (for example, I just had to add Francisca to the list for Measure for Measure). There's also the issue with indeterminate numbers of non-speaking Lords, Servants, etc. If another source says that it's the smallest cast, I'm cool with that - I just wanted to check. Roscelese (talkcontribs) 20:30, 9 February 2011 (UTC)