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MonkeyNotes-The Two Gentlemen of Verona by William Shakespeare
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Act II, Scene 1

In Milan, Valentine reveals that he has fallen in love. Speed teases his master and explains to Valentine how he knows the latter is in love:

You have learn'd, like Sir Proteus, to wealth your arms like a malcontent; to relish a love-song, like a robin redbreast; to walk alone, like one that had the pestilence; to sigh, like a school-boy that had lost his ABC.

[17-21]

Silvia enters the scene to return the letter she had asked Valentine to draft for her nameless friend and obviously Valentine's rival. Speed, however, is quick to realize Silvia's trick. He explains to Valentine that the letter he had written for Silvia was actually meant for Valentine himself.


Notes

Ironically, Valentine, the fancy-free traveler, has fallen in love with the Duke's daughter, Silvia. Speed shows considerable disapproval of the love affair and reminds his master of how similar to Proteus he appears to be and how stupid it seems for him to be in love. Speed chides Valentine for his own "present folly" and Silvia's "passing deformity".

Speed's perception of Silvia as deformed is erroneous; in truth, she is beautiful and loyal; but Speed's ability to see the purpose of Silvia's letter is correct. She has asked Valentine to write a note to one of her suitors. Speed realizes that suitor is Valentine himself. Silvia is obviously interested in Valentine too.

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