The Two Gentlemen of Verona | Study Guide

William Shakespeare

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The Two Gentlemen of Verona | Act 5, Scene 1 | Summary



Eglamour and Sylvia meet at the abbey as agreed. Fearful of being spied on, Sylvia urges Eglamour to wait for her by the side entrance so as not to draw suspicion. From there they have three leagues (about nine miles) of open ground to cover before they reach the safety of the forest.


This very brief scene serves mainly to advance the plot, but it scatters a few hints about characterization as well. Sylvia's shrewdness is emphasized by her wariness of spies: her escape may be motivated by romance, but she's not just a dewy-eyed damsel running away on a romantic whim. Eglamour's self-sacrificing actions, meanwhile, underscore his standing as a more mature man than the two title characters. Unlike the shifty Proteus and the noble but untried Valentine, he seems to undertake this good deed out of a sense of honor and kindheartedness, expecting nothing in return.

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