Category Archives: The Two Gentlemen of Verona

Friday Non-Film Focus: The Two Gentlemen of Verona by Independent Shakespeare Company

It’s August and a Friday, which means a new summer blockbuster is being released… but honestly in all the business of the week, I haven’t a clue as to what’s opening…but that doesn’t matter. I’m here to talk about what does: Independent Shakespeare Company’s production of The Two Gentlemen of Verona, running through September 3 in Los Angeles’ Griffith Park…for FREE.

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The Two Gentlemen of Verona: Wrap Up

So the month comes to an end.  Time to say good-bye to Valentine and Proteus, our two gents from Verona.  I’m tempted to say “good riddance” as well, but I don’t hate the play.  I just didn’t like it on a first or second read.  I’d put it down at the bottom of barrel, both overall and of the comedies as well.  It’s rushed.  The characters are believable (or at my age, relatable).  I’m not bugged so much by that “gift” ending, as Silvia’s silence (of course, I think this is probably why it belongs earlier in the Canon than I placed it).
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2 Gents: Numbers overall

The Two Gentlemen of Verona

  • 2219 total lines; much shorter than average play, shorter than average comedy (average play: 2777; average comedy: 2424)
  • At 12 lines, Act Five Scene One is the shortest of its kind in the Canon
  • Act One: 378 lines; shorter than average (average play: 590, average comedy: 488)
  • Act Two: 640 lines; longer than average (average play: 568, average comedy: 495)
  • Act Three: 470 lines; shorter than average (average play: 576, average comedy: 512)
  • Act Four: 471 lines; shorter than average, but slightly longer than average comedy (average play: 563, average comedy: 460)
  • Act Five: 260 lines; shortest fifth act in the Canon; shorter than average (average play: 480, average comedy: 471)
  • 595 lines of prose (26.81% of total lines [as opposed to The Comedy of Errors: 13.31%, Titus Andronicus: 1.39%, The Taming of the Shrew: 20.82%, 1HenryVI: 0.37%, 2HenryVI: 16.64%, 3HenryVI: 0.14%, Richard III: 2.89%, and Love’s Labor’s Lost: 35.08%])
  • 176 rhyming lines (7.93% of total lines [as opposed to Comedy: 20.10%, Titus: 2.42%, Taming: 3.93%, 1HenryVI: 9.79%, 2HenryVI: 3.16%, 3HenryVI: 5.37%, Richard III: 7.55%, and LLL: 40.86%])
  • 20 scenes; slightly less than average, though more than average comedy (average play: 21; average comedy: 16)
  • only 17 characters (less than average [average play: 36, average comedy: 22])

 

Podcast 38: The Two Gentlemen of Verona Wrap-Up

This week’s podcast concludes our month-long discussion of The Two Gentlemen of Verona, including a production concept, a possible cast, a final critical word or two, and our usual recap of blog entries.

Errata:
4:03 — Text should be “have seen” instead of “haven’t seen”
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When? Whaaaat? How?

Back at the beginning of all this, I had to map out a roadmap for the syllabus.  I threw together a very rough assemblage of a chronology.

a rough assemblage?  yeah, there are some pretty interesting divergences in opinion between the various editors and critics, so I did the best I could… so sue me… I did make some changes, like losing some of the “Fletcher” plays and massaging the order of some of the histories (so that within the tetralogies, we could keep them in “true” historical order as well)

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Russian to a Conclusion… Less Satisfying: LLL or 2GV? Discuss.

Remember last month’s Love’s Labor’s Lost, and the almost interminable last scene?  The Russian disguise… the return of the men… the show of the Worthies… the arrival of news of the French King’s death… the unsatisfactory conclusion… all in a 900+ line scene (the longest last scene in the Canon).
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I Love You, You’re (im)Perfect… Now Change

The Two Gentlemen of Verona has had a fairly varied production history, but mostly modern.  While we know the play existed before 1598 (as it appeared on a list of Shakespearean plays in that year in Palladis Tamia by Francis Meres, a survey of the works of recent English poets), the text of the play, however, did not appear during Shakespeare’s lifetime, published for the first time as part the First Folio in 1623.  Until this point, in fact even until the late eighteenth century, there is no record of any performance of the play.
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Rip it Up, Baby…

OK, so as we’ve noted over the past few weeks, the men get a couple of great comic clowns in The Two Gentlemen of Verona in Speed and Launce.  So are the women merely the put-upon, threatened, abandoned, and ordered-about pawns of the players and their playwright?  Uh, not so much.  Buried in Act One is a wonderful bit of physical prop comedy for the actresses playing Julia and Lucetta: the letter scene.
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Lordy Lord Bawdy Bawd

It’s that time again, our monthly sophomoric drive into Bawdy-Town, our periodic thrusting into that warm, runny center of linguistic gooey goodness that is the naughty bits of (for this month, at least) The Two Gentlemen of Verona.

So here’s the usual warning: if you are easily (or not so easily) offended, stop reading now and proceed to tomorrow’s entry (these are not the excerpts you’re looking for…).
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Language: The “I was rhyming; ’tis you that have the reason” Edition

We’ve done quite a bit of discussion on the various uses of rhyming in the Canon:

  • singling out an entire body or block of content
  • singling out a couplet of content (for emphasis, particularly at the end of a speech)
  • content from outside the play itself–poems, songs, even entire plays that are performed within the context of the scene
  • portrayal of other worldly-entities
  • rhyme as answer

Now, The Two Gentlemen of Verona has MUCH less rhyme than last month’s Love’s Labor’s Lost, about half as much as our opening The Comedy of Errors, and about twice as much as The Taming of the Shrew.  So… how’s it deployed?
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Language: Verse versus Prose

Throughout the Project, we’ve discussed the use of prose and how it differs from the use of verse.  We’ve discussed the use of verse for heightened language and prose for the more mundane (the more, well, prosaic), and of course there’s always that nobility = verse//commoners = prose thing.

But how does it work within The Two Gentlemen of Verona?
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