*Verona. City in northern Italy in which William Shakespeare also set Romeo and Juliet (1595-1596). The Verona of The Two Gentlemen of Verona is a highly fictionalized place, a locale of relative innocence. There, Valentine and Proteus enjoy a firm and uncomplicated friendship until Proteus is sent by his father to Milan.
Tensions among the characters in Verona are mild and ordinary, features of fairly uneventful domestic life: Valentine disagrees with Proteus about the relative merits of love and travel; Julia at first does not to know what to make of Proteus’s offers of affection; Antonio, Proteus’s father, disapproves of his son’s devotion to love; and Proteus objects to his father’s command that he join Valentine in Milan. None of these conflicts is particularly significant. They all resemble the conflict between the buffoon Launce and his dog Crab, who refuses to weep upon his master’s departure from home. Contrasted to Milan and the forest, Verona is a place of domestic tranquillity.
*Milan. Major northern Italian city, which, like Verona, is highly fictionalized in the play. In Milan, the two young gentlemen of Verona finally encounter serious problems in their lives. Valentine falls in love with Silvia, but her father, the Duke, wishes her to marry a wealthy but unpleasant character named Thurio.
When Proteus arrives in Milan, his life is also...
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