Two Gentlemen of Verona By William Shakespeare Summary and Analysis Act II: Scene 7

Summary

Julia asks Lucetta's advice once again:

How, with my honor, I may undertake
A journey to my loving Proteus? (6–7)

Lucetta's counsel is conventional, and in such comedies conventionally ignored by her mistress:

I do not seek to quench your love's hot fire,
But qualify the fire's extreme rage,
Lest it should burn above the bounds of reason. (21–23)

"The more thou damm'st it up, the more it burns," Julia replies. Julia plans to disguise herself as "some well-reputed page" and to travel to Milan at once.

Analysis

Shakespeare provides this glimpse of the innocent and loving Julia while Proteus's treacherous words still echo in our ears from the previous scene. There is something touching in her speech as she compares her love to the movement of a stream:

The current that with gentle murmur glides,
Thou know'st, being stopped, impatiently doth rage; But when
his fair course is not hindered, He makes sweet music with th'
enameled stones, Giving a gentle kiss to every sedge He
overtaketh in his pilgrimage; And by so many winding nooks
he strays, With willing sport, to the wild ocean. (25–32)

However, when Julia sings the praises of her lover later in the scene, Shakespeare seems to be hammering too hard at the point of innocence betrayed:

His words are bonds, his oaths are oracles;
His love sincere, his thoughts immaculate;
His tears pure messengers sent from his heart;
His heart as far from fraud as heaven from earth. (75–78)

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At the end of the play, who does Julia meet and characterize as “A virtuous gentlewoman, mild and beautiful!”



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