05 January 2010

Two Gentlemen from Verona

Though it is the shortest of the Arkangel Shakespeare productions i've listened to, Two Gentlemen of Verona is the one i've liked the least. I didn't like the production because between scenes they play this slow jazz, very jarring when listening to a Renaissance comedy. I also didn't like the story because of my personal prejudices against cheating boyfriends!

The two gentlemen are Proteus and Valentine. Proteus is in love with Julia in Verona. Valentine goes to stay at the Duke of Milan's home. There he falls for the Duke's daughter, Syliva (why did Shakespeare have to make their names so similar? why not Julia and Regan?). Then Proteus' father sends him to the Duke's so Proteus can gain life experience. There, Proteus also falls for Sylvia and connives so that the Duke finds out Valentine and Sylvia were going to elope. Meanwhile, since Julia misses her man so much she dresses as a boy and follows him to Milan. With Valentine out of the way, Proteus makes his move but Sylvia will have nothing to do with him because he's betrayed Valentine and Julia. Since this play is a comedy, everything works out in the end.

On audio, as opposed to a play, it was difficult to distinguish who was who until someone said a name again. even with just four main characters, and Julia being out of the play for long stretches, i found it confusing. And everyone just forgives Proteus far too easily. So this play is just a 3 from me. Onward!

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