The Two Gentlemen of Verona "Who Is Silvia?"
by William Shakespeare

The Two Gentlemen of Verona book cover
Start Your Free Trial

"Who Is Silvia?"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Download The Two Gentlemen of Verona Study Guide

Subscribe Now

Context: Valentine, one of the two gentlemen of Verona, has gone to Milan, where he has fallen in love with Silvia, the saucy and charming daughter of the Duke of Milan. The duke wants Silvia to marry Thurio, whom she detests. Informed by Proteus, the other gentleman of Verona, who has himself now abandoned Julia, his sweetheart of Verona, for Silvia, that Valentine means to elope with his daughter, the duke banishes Valentine from the country. Then he urges Thurio to press his suit. Thurio brings a group of musicians to the duke's palace to serenade Silvia. The song these musicians sing is one of Shakespeare's loveliest, as the first stanza demonstrates:

SONGWho is Silvia? what is she,That all our swains commend her?Holy, fair, and wise is she:The heaven such grace did lend her,That she might admired be.