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... his date , Shakespeare had , before his thirty - fourth year , been the
acknowledged author of seventeen dramas ; and if the Two GENTLEMEN OF
VERONA were the first of these , it must certainly have been the production of his
early youth .
Cease to persuade , my loving Proteus : Home - keeping youth have ever homely
wits . Wert not , affection chains thy tender days To the sweet glances of thy
honour'd love , I rather would entreat thy company To see the wonders of the
He wonder'd , that your lordship Would suffer him to spend his youth at home ,
While other men , of slender reputation , Put forth their sons to seek preferment
out : Some to the wars , to try their fortune there ; Some , to discover islands far
... picture I have yet beheld , And that hath dazzled my reason's light ; But when I
look on her perfections . Enter SPEED , and LAUNCE . Speed . Launce ! by mine
honesty , welcome to Milan . Launce . Forswear not thyself , sweet youth , for I ...
To be fantastic may become a youth I will forget that Julia is alive , Of greater time
than I shall show to be . Remembering that my love to her is dead ; Luc . What
fashion , madam , shall I make your And Valentine I'll hold an enemy , breeches ?
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"like a wood woman" might indeed have meant "frantic" or "wild" (with grief) which Launce mentions referring to the "shoe" which he adopts for the sake of illustration. However, Shakespeare, even at his earliest writings, was vastly entertained by double entendres and his love of puns is so well documented. In that time in Italy, women wore platform shoes which were raised to elevate the shoes from the mud and other unpleasant "stuff". These were called "chopines" and the platforms were constructed of wood. The higher the platform, the higher the pretentiousness of the lady. Her height could have put her above many others. Since Launce has his father and mother represented as shoes, this second meaning is certainly not outside of the possibility for Shakespeare's intention. Naturally, it would have had the effect of a rather "localized" and "temporary" idea, but the fact of its having been very popular in that day makes it a candidate for the Bard's delight.