Valentine's supposed best friend and one of the title gentleman of Verona, though he behaves in a most ungentlemanly fashion. He is Julia's sweetheart at the beginning of the play, but when he joins Valentine at the Duke's palace, he falls in love with Silvia and attempts to steal her away from Valentine and Thurio.


The other title gentlemen of Verona. He is Proteus' best friend, and Silvia's love. Banished to the forest after Proteus betrays his plan to elope with Silvia to the Duke, Valentine becomes king of the outlaws.


Proteus' beloved, and mistress to the servant Lucetta. Desiring to travel to Milan to visit Proteus, Julia disguises herself as a high-class male page in order to avoid lecherous advances along the journey. Calling herself Sebastian, she does Proteus' bidding, delivering the ring she had earlier given him to his new beloved, Silvia.

Read a mini-essay about how Julia’s disguise affects her gender identity.


Daughter to the Duke and beloved of Valentine, also sought after by Proteus and Thurio. Silvia commiserates with Sebastian over the wrong that Proteus has done to Julia. She escapes her father's palace with the help of Sir Eglamour, who abandons her at the sight of the outlaws.

Duke of Milan

Silvia's father, the Duke wants her to marry the boorish but wealthy suitor Sir Thurio. Upon hearing of Valentine's plot to elope with Silvia, the Duke banishes Valentine.


Julia's servant, who considers love from a practical point of view. Lucetta helps Julia disguise herself as a man.


Proteus' humorous servant, and master to a poorly-trained mutt named Crab. His devotion to his dog knows no bounds. He falls in love with an ugly but wealthy maid.

Read a mini-essay about the importance of the master-servant relationship in the play.


Valentine's page, though at the beginning of the play he does Proteus' bidding as well. He is friendly with Launce.


A foolish rival to Valentine for Silvia's hand. Thurio is very rich, but does not make for pleasant company.

Sir Eglamour

The gentleman upon whom Silvia calls to help her escape from the Duke's court, in order to find her love, Valentine, and to avoid marrying Thurio.


Father to Proteus and master to the servant Panthino.


Houses Julia while she searches for Proteus.


When Valentine is banished from Milan, the outlaws intercept him during his journey to Mantua and make him the king of their crew of gentlemen bandits.


Launce's dog.


Antonio's servant.