The Two Gentlemen of Verona

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This article is about Shakespeare's play. For other uses, see The Two Gentlemen of Verona (disambiguation).

While the word “gentlemen” suggests that its heroes are adults, Two Gentlemen of Verona, one of William Shakespeare's plays, is more intelligible if we think of them as boys, leaving home for the first time. One has a crush on a girl, Julia, though he hasn’t yet told her.

Sent to court to learn to be “perfect gentlemen," Valentine and Proteus are derailed by their attraction to Sylvia, the ruler’s daughter. Valentine’s mental denseness does not deter Sylvia from returning his love, but he is caught, and banished, when he tries to elope with her. Proteus’ desire for Sylvia wipes out his former love, leading him into despicable acts that win scorn from Sylvia and wound Julia, who has pursued him disguised as a boy.

When Sylvia follows Valentine into banishment, Proteus follows Sylvia, and Julia follows Proteus, the stage is set for a disturbing ending. But the stage is also set for the “gentlemen” to take small steps toward maturity.

Shakespeare wrote The Two Gentlemen of Verona early on; suggested dates are between 1590 and 1595. It was published in the 1623 First Folio. Sources include Jorge de Montemayor's Diana Enamorada.[1]

Productions at the Folger

Helen Hayes Awards
Wins: "Outstanding Director, Resident Production" for Aaron Posner, and "Outstanding Supporting Actress, Resident Play" for Holly Twyford
Nominations: "Outstanding Costume Design, Resident Production" for Kate Turner-Walker, and "Outstanding Resident Play"

Early editions

First Folio

LUNA: First Folio: B4r - D1v
Hamnet: STC 22273 Fo. 1 no. 68

Second Folio

LUNA: Second Folio: B4v - D1v
Hamnet: STC 22274 Fo. 2 no. 07

Modern editions

Two Gentlemen of Verona Folger Edition.jpg

The Two Gentlemen of Verona can be read online with Folger Digital Texts and purchased from Simon and Schuster.

Hamnet link to Folger Edition: PR2753 .M6 2003 copy 2 v.36

In popular culture


The Folger owns at least a dozen stand-alone translations of The Two Gentlemen of Verona in various languages (not including collected works). Cataloging of these works is ongoing as of early 2015, and many have full-level catalog records, but some works still have only partial records. Translations can be found Hamnet in by searching for "Translations"in the Genre/Form Term field, or by searching the Call Number (Left-Anchored) field for call numbers starting with PR2796 (see the list of Sh.Col. translations call numbers for specific language call numbers). Since not all translations are fully cataloged, some items may only turn up in one of these searches.

Performance materials

Other media

Image Group

Explore the curated image group for The Two Gentlemen of Verona in the Folger digital image collection.

Content Advisory: this image group contains representations of sexual assault.


  1. Adapted from the Folger Library Shakespeare Edition, edited by Barbara A. Mowat and Paul Werstine. © 1999 Folger Shakespeare Library.