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

In the Two Gentlemen of Verona, Proteus proves true to his namesake. Mythologically, he is the god of changeability, being likened to water which can easily change its shape. Initially Proteus 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 seems 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 naiveté of youth & 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 predominance in the priorities of youth.

If I was going to explain to Proteus why his feelings for Julia have faded into a shade of lack-lustre hueI might mention something to the effect of…when you’re in different locales, there’s one obvious thing that’s painfully impossible to perform; need I say more.

Sonnet no.116 teaches us to stay the course, 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.

We witness his cruel betrayal of his best friend, Valentine, as he exposes his and Sylvia’s plot of eloping; disclosing their escape to her stern and disciplinary father.

According to Proteus, winning Silvia outweighs losing Valentine; romantic love at the expense of friendship is a sacrifice that 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 Julia back home} was an unattractive quality which would repel any desirable mate. Also, when showing interest in someone, to assume that that person will without fail return those same sentiments back, seems to me to suggest either extreme credulity or superfluous vanity. Silvia’s disgust at his incessant and uninvited pursuits, incites him to threaten to woo her like a soldier. Thankfully Valentine steps forward and prevents this from happening.

Nevertheless, the sophomoric solutions to Proteus’ seemingly never-ending obstacles he creates for himself throughout this crazy adventure leaves me feeling confident that Proteus has much to learn:

about the world; about himself.



Wisdom from the Fool

“I marvel what kin thou and thy daughters are. They’ll have me whipped for speaking true, thou’lt have me whipped for lying, and sometimes I am whipped for holding my peace.”

The fool illuminates the truth here that with some people we are always the bad guy:

Saying the truth; they consider it not our place to speak.

Lying; we’re a lowlife.

Saying nothing; we’re somehow a co-conspirator as guilty as the culprit!

Before making the decision to argue, we needs must ask whether we will be made wrong no matter what, and considering that observation; avoidance may prove best; putting pride and blame aside helps work towards a lasting solution.

The fool notices how people have an insatiable desire to always be right; however being right doesn’t prove beneficial, unless it leads to reconciliation; and the rub of all this is, that, when someone actually is in the right, they tend to flout this with an egotistical scorn engendering hate and resentment. This in turn sabatoges any chance of moving forward; heating animosity and spite which can only be relieved with humility, understanding, forgiveness & love.

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!