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MonkeyNotes-The Two Gentlemen of Verona by William Shakespeare
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Act IV, Scene 2

Proteus advises Thurio to serenade Silvia. As a result, Thurio comes by night with a band of musicians, who stand below Silvia's window. Proteus cleverly persuades Thurio to allow him to woo Silvia on his behalf. Of course, Proteus really courts Silvia for himself, but is quickly rejected by her. In fact, Silvia scorns Proteus for his faithlessness to Julia, calling him a "perjured, false, disloyal man." Proteus shamelessly proclaims that Julia is dead.

Ironically, Julia, disguised as a page, arrives in time to hear Proteus entertaining Silvia with music and openly courting her without shame. Julia is totally shocked by the treachery of this man who has pledged his constant love to her.


Notes

Proteus' villainy is further developed in this chapter. He tricks Thurio into hiring musicians to serenade Silvia and then woos her for himself. When Silvia scorns him for not being faithful to Julia, he lies and says that Julia is dead. Ironically, Julia arrives, after her long and wearisome journey, right at the moment that Proteus is courting Silvia.

The reader is made to sympathize with the innocent and naive Julia. Fully trusting Proteus' pledge of love, she has made the long journey to Milan to be with her true love. When she arrives, she is crushed and horrified to view Proteus' total lack of faithfulness. She states that "it hath been the longest night that e'er I watched, and the most heaviest."

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