Two Gentlemen of Verona
Believed to have been written between 1589 and 1592, "Two Gentlemen of Verona" is a comedy by William Shakespeare and it is considered by some to be his first play, showing his first tentative steps in laying out some of the themes and motifs with which he would later deal in more detail. The play deals with the themes of friendship and infidelity, the conflict between friendship and love, and the foolish behaviour of people in love.
The two "gentlemen" of the title are friends Proteus and Valentine, who are taking leave of one another as the play opens. Valentine travels to Milan, where he falls in love with Silvia, daughter of the Duke. Proteus, meanwhile, hunts after love and remains in Verona, pledged to faithfulness to his beloved Julia.
When Proteus travels to Milan, however, he too falls in love with Silvia and proceeds to undermine his friend by denouncing him to the Duke. Valentine is banished to the forest, where he joins a band of thieves. Proteus pursues Silvia more and more fervently, even to the point of threatening to take her violently...