The Two Gentlemen of Verona by William Shakespeare

When I took Shakespeare in college the professor dismissed this play as silly, but he can’t have been reading the same play. The love story is touching, not just the romantic courtship between the gentlemen and the ladies, but also the friendship between the two gentlemen, and the play is only saved from being a tragedy at the very last minute. There is also a barely averted forcible rape–“I’ll woo thee like a soldier!”–that is rather shocking in an Elizabethan romance. This play is one of Shakespeare’s darker comedies.

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