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MonkeyNotes-The Two Gentlemen of Verona by William Shakespeare
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Act II, Scene 7

Back in Verona, Julia, grieving over the absence of Proteus, resolves to follow him to Milan. Lucetta counsels her mistress against the decision and pleads with Julia not to overstep the bounds of reason. She advises her to cool her heart's desire instead of fanning the flames of passion. Julia replies that "the more thou dam'st it up, the more it burns." Lucetta's efforts to discourage Julia from going to Milan fail.

Lucetta agrees to travel with Julia to Milan. Both women disguise themselves as pages in order to prevent "the loose encounters of lascivious men" along the way.


Notes

The placement of this scene is intentional and ironic. In the last scene, Proteus has just dismissed and forgotten Julia without a second thought. In this scene, Julia is grieving for the departed Proteus and has decided to join him in Milan. Even though the journey will be "wearisome and long," Julia feels that her passion for Proteus will sustain her.

Lucetta tries every thing possible to dissuade her mistress from making the journey. She tells Julia that she is not being rational and needs to cool her heart. Julia refuses to listen to her counsel. Julia's love is not blind, only innocent. She truly loves Proteus, and her youth and his absence fans the flames of her passion. She pleads with Lucetta to understand her predicament, and in the end, Lucetta agrees to travel with her mistress to Milan.

The ironies in the scene are apparent ones. By the time that Julia is planning her trip to see Proteus, who has promised eternal faithfulness to her, he has already forgotten her. The fact that Lucetta and Julia try to protect themselves from lascivious men along the route to Milan is also ironic; in truth, the man that Julia is rushing to see is the truly lascivious one. The reader can only pity the poor, innocent Julia.

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