Valentine and Proteus are best friends. Valentine leaves his hometown of Verona to travel and learn by serving the Duke of Milan. Proteus stays in Verona because he does not want to leave Julia, the girl he is in love with. Eventually, Proteus’s father decides that Proteus should see the world too, and sends him to Milan. Before Proteus leaves, he and Julia give each other rings. Proteus tells her he will come back as soon as possible. Proteus’s servant, Launce, goes to Milan with Proteus. Launce complains that his dog, Crab, is not sad that he is leaving. When Proteus gets to Milan, he sees that Valentine has fallen in love with the Duke’s daughter, Silvia. The Duke, however, wants Silvia to marry Thurio, who is very rich. When Proteus meets Silvia, he falls in love with her too. Proteus decides to betray Valentine and tells the Duke that Valentine and Silvia plan to run away together. The Duke orders Valentine to leave his court, and Silvia is heartbroken. In the streets of Milan, Speed and Launce (Valentine and Proteus’s servants) make jokes until Speed realizes he needs to catch up with Valentine!
Julia comes to Milan disguised as a boy to find Proteus. Proteus thinks she is a boy named Sebastian, and she becomes his servant. She discovers that Proteus is in love with Silvia, and she is very upset. Proteus tells Julia (disguised as Sebastian) to give Silvia the ring that Julia gave to him earlier. Silvia rejects Proteus, because she is in love with Valentine.
On his way back home, Valentine and Speed are stopped by a group of thieves, and they make Valentine their leader. Silvia leaves to look for Valentine, but the thieves capture her. Proteus quickly rescues her and tells her he will hurt her if she does not say she loves him. Valentine jumps in and saves Silvia from Proteus. Proteus is embarrassed about what he did and apologizes. Valentine forgives him, and they become friends again. Julia reveals her true identity, and she and Proteus are reunited. The Duke decides that Valentine is a better man than Thurio and lets Valentine and Silvia get married. Valentine suggests that both couples get married on the same day.
By Alison Ruth