Character Analysis! Proteus from “The Two Gentlemen of Verona”


In the Two Gentlemen of Verona, Proteus proves to be true to his namesake. In mythology, he is the god of changeability, being likened to water which can easily change its shape. At first he is smitten with Julia, then, after visiting Milan, he becomes infatuated with Silvia, which makes me wonder whether if he were to travel more during his time abroad, would he forget about her too? Proteus is confused and doesn’t understand why his strong feelings for Julia have changed so much so fast. He reasons: one nail by strength drives out another so the remembrance of my former love is by a newer object quite forgotten. Proteus’ grasp on the complexities of love appears painfully primitive, yet corresponds with his youthful {we don’t know exactly how young, but between 18 & 25 is a safe bet}  naivete & immaturity. When he says that eating love, inhabits in the finest wits of all, I can’t help but think of the obvious vulgarity that could be interpreted. Proteus is exploring not only love but sexuality as well. The latter takes a firm dominance in the priorities of most young people. If I was going to explain to Proteus why his feelings for Julia have faded into a shade of lack-lustre hueI might tell him something along the lines of…when you’re in completely different cities, there’s one thing that’s undeniably difficult to perform; need I say more. Lust is the tragic flaw that appears most often in Shakespeare’s Tragedies. Prince Pericles concluded that One sin I know another doth provoke; Murder is as near to Lust as flame to smoke. Sonnet no.116 teaches us, Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, but bears it out even to the edge of doom. In other words, true love is not Protean in nature; it is Eternal and equally important Unconditional. Let’s just pretend for “goodness sake” that Proteus is just a nickname he grows out of. We witness not only his inconstancy to Julia, but also to his best friend, exposing Valentine’s plot to run away with Silvia to her unapproving father thereby getting his best friend a stiff penalty of banishment. According to Proteus, winning Silvia outweighs losing Valentine, or in another words, romantic love at the expense of friendship is a sacrifice he is willing to make. This tells us a lot about Proteus’ character & maturity; Aiming at Silvia as a sweeter friend. Quid pro quo, this for that. What Proteus finally realizes is that the disloyalty he showed {to both his best friend and lady-friend back home} was an unattractive quality which would repel any future desirable lover. Also, to assume that, when showing interest in someone, that person will without fail return those same sentiments back, seems to me to indicate either extreme credulity or superfluous vanity. Silvia’s disgust at his incessant and uninvited pursuit of her, incites him to threaten to woo her like a soldier. Thankfully Valentine steps forward and prevents that from happening, but nonetheless the primitively sophomoric solutions to Proteus’ seemingly never-ending obstacles he creates for himself throughout his crazy adventure leaves me feeling confident that Proteus has much to learn: about the world; about himself.

20140502-041048.jpg

Advertisements

Delusional Richard!

When King Richard III falls off from his horse fighting Richmond, Richmond being the man who defeated him at Bosworth Field and consequently established the Tudor dynasty, Richard shouts out in disbelief, “A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse!” He is quite delusional for blaming his unfortunate predicament on an indifferent mare, yet this supports a theory of human psychology that people prove creative rationalizers in order to deflect personal responsibility; however this only works for so long. Eventually we must take an honest inventory of ourselves impartial to our intrinsic pride. Richard from the outset embarks on a self-destructive path, yet he still believed he could pull it off with something I like to refer to as: psychotic optimism. When this mindset takes hold of someone, regardless of whether or not their actions are self-destructive: they believe things will work out for the best, but as Billy Joel says, “When the fun falls through and the rent comes due…it surely will catch up to [you], somewhere along the line.”

Word of the Day! Febuary 20

Today’s selected Shakespeare word is ‘nakedness.’

Now although this is a state of being in which we aim to enjoy while accompanied by someone in that same condition, in Shakespeare, specifically the tragedies, the word is used in less jovial vein. In King Lear, Edgar, the Duke of Gloucester’s wrongly accused son, strips off his clothes and covers himself in dirt in order to disguise himself as a madman and avoid being recognized and apprehended. He mentions that he will, “with presented nakedness outface the winds and persecutions of the sky.” In Timon of Athens we hear the title character offer one of the most bitter tirades in all of Shakespeare. One the most emotional moments from this speech is when he completely disrobes and determines to seek perpetual refuge from society in the woods. He rants with unmitigated rage, “Nothing I’ll bear from thee but nakedness, thou detestable town!”

Although we might chuckle if we ever got the opportunity to use this word conversationally nowadays: like, “I’m gonna go home and take a shower after I metamorphose into a state of nakedness,” Shakespeare used this word with a natural skill all his own. In addition to Lear and Timon, he uses it in Much Ado about Nothing, “to cover with excuse that which appears in proper nakedness,” and Henry the Fifth, “in his nakedness, he appears but a man.”

My challenge to my readers!

Write a sentence using the word ‘nakedness’ with the intention of not having that word stick out like a sore thumb.

My Attempt:

My brain shivers in nakedness when exposed to gusts of stupidity.

Quote of the Day! Febuary 20, 2014

Today’s Shakespeare Quote:

“Delays have dangerous ends.” ~Henry VI Part 1

Question for my readers! What are some things that you feel, if delayed, could prove to have “dangerous ends?” ( feel free to offer a humorous response)

A couple of my answers:
1.) Getting stuck on empty because the gas station you drove by didn’t offer your favorite cafe’ latte.
2.) Waiting till you’re completely out of toilet paper before you realize that it doesn’t magically replace itself!