Nothing in Two Gentlemen of Verona

Act 1: “What is ‘t that you took up so gingerly?–Nothing.– And is that paper nothing?– Nothing concerning me. –Then let it lie for those that it concerns” [1.2.70-76] (Julia and Lucetta);

Act 2: “Pardon me Proteus, all I can is nothing to her whose worth makes her worthies nothing. She is alone.” [2.4.162-163]

Act 3: ” Valentine? –No. –Who then? His spirit? –Niether– What then? — Nothing.–Can nothing speak? Master, shall I strike?– Who wouldst thou strike?– Nothing.–Villain, forebear.– Why, sir, I’ll strike nothing. I pray you– Sirrah, I say forebear. Friend Valentine, a word.” [3.1.192-203](Launce, Valentine and Proteus); “why, that word makes the faults gracious. Well, I’ll have her; and if it be a match, as nothing impossible– What then? –Why, then I will tell thee that thy master stays for thee at the North-gate” (Launce and Speed).

Act 4: “Tell us this: have you any thing to take to? –Nothing but my fortune” [4.1.42-43] (Valentine and second outlaw).

Act 5:

…mentions of ‘nothing’ and letters, like in Lear, talk of service; the twin ‘hair’ mentions like The Tempest; a mention of ‘Ethiope’ like in A Midsummer Night’s Dream; ‘honest’ like in Othello; blackness like the sonnets and Midsummer; outlaws like perhaps in Henry IV… this is an early play like Comedy of Errors yet, unlike Comedy of Errors, has strong vocabulary suggestions of later works (notwithstanding the ‘elm and ivy’ passage which Midsummer seems to have cropped from Errors.) I feel he must of been very excited to have written this, simple while intimating larger themes, ample grounds to roam in.

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