You are here:

Shakespeare/Two Gentlemen of Verona: Act 4 Scene 4 Analysis

Advertisement


Question
Hi. I'm performing Julia's first monologue in Act 4 Scene 4 of Two Gentlemen of Verona for a college audition in a couple of months. I feel like I understand the character, but I am having a hard time understanding some of Shakespeare's phrasing. Is there any way you could help? Perhaps by paraphrasing the passage? Thank you so much!

Here it is:

How many women would do such a message?
Alas, poor Proteus, thou hast entertain’d
A fox to be the shepherd of thy lambs.
Alas, poor fool, why do I pity him
That with his very heart despiseth me?
Because he loves her, he despiseth me;
Because I love him, I must pity him.
This ring I gave him when he parted from me,
To bind him to remember my good will;
And now am I (unhappy messenger)
To plead for that which I would not obtain,
To carry that which I would have refus’d,
To praise his faith which I would have disprais’d.
I am my master’s true confirmed love;
But cannot be true servant to my master,
Unless I prove false traitor to myself.
Yet will I woo for him, but yet so coldly
As, heaven it knows, I would not have him speed.

Answer
Okay, here goes:

So many women would be happy to have your love

but you have giving your tender feelings of love (lambs) to a predator (fox (Silvia does not return his love))[this could also be referring to the fact that he asked an unsympathetic character to do his bidding (probably refers to both)]

Why should I feel sorry for him that hates me with all his might?

Logically: If he loves her he must hate me...I love him therefore I must pity him (see sonnet love is not love which alters when it alteration finds)

[i imagine this next part gives you trouble...me too, but i think]

This ring...-(unhappy messenger) [speaks for itself]

The next three lines are:

To plead for that for someone else which I would not be granted myself
To carry that for someone else which was to me refused
To praise his faith to someone else when I was never given or shown his faith

"I" [her state of being/disposition/broken heartedness] is the truth about how Proteus loves

But the only way SEBASTIAN can be true to "his" errand is if JULIET betrays herself

so she'll do it but so badly that it wont help

Good luck!  

Shakespeare

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.