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Names and Arcadia in Shakespeare’s Play

“The Two Gentlemen of Verona” by Shakespeare has many characters whose names are ironic or have an important meaning. In the beginning we see Proteus and Valentine. With the flow of conversation the conflict of these two men is extended in an entertaining manner where Proteus is presented like ‘a votary to fond desire’. Bearing in mind the nature of love which is more of a solely literary standard rather than a sincere feeling could be taken perturbed in the light of fundamental significance of Proteus’s name. It has to be further noted, that the original reaction to love has afterward a romantic practice, which later results in the internal conflict mentioned when Valentine leaves and Speed enters. The internal conflict of this hero is troubling, as the very cause of this conflict is the transformation in the personal belief structure of Proteus which is imposed to Julia from Valentine, that further leads to separation of the two people.

Even the spirit of the parting of the two main characters in the play evokes the emblematic meaning of Proteus’s name. The two characters are divided by the sea, referring to mythology – Proteus was the Greek god of sea. Correspondingly, surroundings in “As You Like It” are as well highly symbolic. By the simple combination of the some letters, the woods of Arden can become Arcadia, Eden, or Ardennes. the forest of Ardennes is situated on the lands of Luxembourg, Belgium, and France, and the forest of Arden is near Warwickshire, that is close to place of birth of Shakespeare.

Even more than that, Arden was also the name of maiden of Shakespeare’s mother. The episodes of the play are connected to the background of “The Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia”, that is a reference to Heaven, or Arcadia. At last, there as well is an indication of Eden, the paradise from the Bible; the four marriages which are the play’s culmination support the reference. The Forest of Arden is a representation of an eternal space and time is a protection for exiles and outcast; this is the spot where community happiness and spirit govern.


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