LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST

By William Shakespeare
Probably written in the mid-1590, but published in 1598

General Note: In January 2009 I decided that Iíd like to go back and read all the plays of William Shakespeare, perhaps one a month if that works out. I hadnít read a Shakespeare play since 1959, 50 years ago! But I had read nearly all of them in college. I wanted to go back, start with something not too serious or challenging, and work my way through the whole corpus. Thus I began with The Two Gentlemen of Verona. At this time I have no idea how the project will go, nor if it will actually lead me through the entire corpus of Shakespeareís plays. However, I will keep a separate page listing each play Iíve read with links to any comments I would make of that particular play. See: List of Shakespeareís playís Iíve read and commented on

COMMENTS ON
LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST

Comments by Bob Corbett
August 2011

This is a play which I think, realistically, isnít a very good play, yet I enjoyed it a great deal, most likely much more than it deserved. Three young nobles are somehow roped into a pledge by their king to take a pledge with him. The four of them will pledge three years to serious study and a sort of near-monastic life that certainly will not have any place for frivolous things like love! In the early scenes they seem so committed, but we do get the sense that none of the four, king included, has really thought this through. And as life will have it, who shows up on their door step but the princess of France with three gorgeous ladies-in-waiting. Ah, the pledges go out the door, but with such childish (or is it manly) stupidity one just has to laugh.

So the three make absurd fools of themselves and do all the wrong things to make the ladies fall in love with them, just ensuring that the opposite happens Ė the women see through them easily and find them boorish, childish and quite unappealing.

Yet along the way there really is lots of fun, and some good poetry. Itís not so much that this play succeeds a drama, I think it doesnít at all, but it does seem to have go good love poetry and sonnet-like poetry. Itís certainly silly, but a fun read.

Bob Corbett corbetre@webster.edu

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Bob Corbett corbetre@webster.edu