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Love's Labor's Lost by William Shakespeare
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Love's Labor's Lost (edition 2005)

by William Shakespeare, Paul Werstine, Dr. Barbara A. Mowat (Editor)

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1,273None6,161 (3.47)46
Member:bookworm12
Title:Love's Labor's Lost
Authors:William Shakespeare
Other authors:Paul Werstine, Dr. Barbara A. Mowat (Editor)
Info:Simon & Schuster (2005), Mass Market Paperback, 352 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:read, play, Nov., 2012

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Love's Labour's Lost by William Shakespeare

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Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
I was surprised to say I quite liked William Shakespeare's "Love's Labors Lost." Knowing that it isn't often performed today (and that my local library didn't even have a copy of this one,) I really didn't have high expectations. I found it an entertaining, though sometimes challenging read.

"Love's Labors Lost" is essentially a romantic comedy. The King of Navarre and his courtiers pledge to dedicate themselves to study for the next three years and forsake all women... of course a bevy of beauties immediately emerge to challenge that notion. The play is typical Shakespeare -- word play, messages misdelivered, disguises and people switching places. I'm sure a lot of the puns were lost on me, but I still enjoyed the ones I got.

While this definitely isn't one of Shakespeare's best, I did find it fun overall. ( )
  amerynth | Apr 20, 2013 |
Another example of Shakespeare's comic fascination with the battle between and misunderstanding of the sexes, Love's Labour's Lost is a difficult play to read, but one which is extremely effective on stage. The Play opens with King Ferdinand of Navarre and his courtiers taking a vow of study and sexual abstinence for a period of three years. However, their vows are soon placed under strain with the arrival of the Princess of France and her ladies in waiting. The inevitable happens, and the different couples attempt to surreptitiously communicate, causing much hilarious confusion and embarrassment in the process. Shakespeare deploys every farcical element in the book, including impersonation, wrongly delivered letters, outrageous puns and word play, fights, drunkenness and masquerades, as Ferdinand's entourage soon learn that rather than running from women to books, it is in fact the opposite sex that "are the books, the arts, the academes/That show, contain, and nourish all the world". However, one of the most interesting aspects of the play is that it does not end with everyone marrying and living happily ever after. The women give as good as they get from the men, and in the end turn the tables in extremely interesting ways. One of Shakespeare's most linguistically challenging, but also intelligent comedies. --Jerry Brotton rrAn early romantic comedy of mistaken identities and word play, Love's Labours Lost is a delight to watch performed. The Arden third series offers a distinctive interpretation of this previously neglected play, in particular its innovative linguistic patterning. The story revolves around the king of Navarre and his courtiers, who decide to devote themselves to three years of study and denial of the opposite sex, but reluctantly fall in love with the Princess of France and her three ladies in waiting. From here, the tangles and cross-purposes begin and the men decide to devote themselves to the study of love. Although dense with sophisticated literary techniques, the play is a wonderful satire of romance and aristocratic pretensions. This edition of Loves Labour's Lost is suitable for both drama and literature students of Shakespeare, as it is a practical guide to staging the play, but also an insightful critique into the play's meaning and history. --Simon Priestly
  Roger_Scoppie | Apr 3, 2013 |
Another example of Shakespeare's comic fascination with the battle between and misunderstanding of the sexes, Love's Labour's Lost is a difficult play to read, but one which is extremely effective on stage. The Play opens with King Ferdinand of Navarre and his courtiers taking a vow of study and sexual abstinence for a period of three years. However, their vows are soon placed under strain with the arrival of the Princess of France and her ladies in waiting. The inevitable happens, and the different couples attempt to surreptitiously communicate, causing much hilarious confusion and embarrassment in the process. Shakespeare deploys every farcical element in the book, including impersonation, wrongly delivered letters, outrageous puns and word play, fights, drunkenness and masquerades, as Ferdinand's entourage soon learn that rather than running from women to books, it is in fact the opposite sex that "are the books, the arts, the academes/That show, contain, and nourish all the world". However, one of the most interesting aspects of the play is that it does not end with everyone marrying and living happily ever after. The women give as good as they get from the men, and in the end turn the tables in extremely interesting ways. One of Shakespeare's most linguistically challenging, but also intelligent comedies. --Jerry Brotton rrAn early romantic comedy of mistaken identities and word play, Love's Labours Lost is a delight to watch performed. The Arden third series offers a distinctive interpretation of this previously neglected play, in particular its innovative linguistic patterning. The story revolves around the king of Navarre and his courtiers, who decide to devote themselves to three years of study and denial of the opposite sex, but reluctantly fall in love with the Princess of France and her three ladies in waiting. From here, the tangles and cross-purposes begin and the men decide to devote themselves to the study of love. Although dense with sophisticated literary techniques, the play is a wonderful satire of romance and aristocratic pretensions. This edition of Loves Labour's Lost is suitable for both drama and literature students of Shakespeare, as it is a practical guide to staging the play, but also an insightful critique into the play's meaning and history. --Simon Priestly
  Roger_Scoppie | Apr 3, 2013 |
You know what I'm not crazy about? Shakespeare's comedies ( )
  AlCracka | Apr 2, 2013 |
I’m normally a big fan of Shakespeare’s plays, and while I enjoyed parts of this one, it still fell a bit flat for me. The King of Navarre and three of his friends decide they will swear off women and other temptations for three years while they focus on their studies. Of course they decide to do this shortly before the Princess of France and her friends are about to visit. No sooner is the vow made than all four men are swooning over the lovely ladies.

There are some really funny parts, like when the men try to hold each other to their vow while at the same time writing love letters to their new crushes. As with all of Shakespeare’s comedies, hidden identities and witty dialogue confound the characters as they find themselves unexpectedly falling in love.

**SPOILERS**

The play ends with a bit of an unusual cliff hanger. The lovers are all separated when the Princess must return to rule France after hearing of her father’s unexpected death. There is a theory that a sequel to the play existed but there are no surviving copies. The play “Love’s Labour’s Won” is mentioned in other texts from around the same time and it could have been the sequel that resolved the lovers’ future.

**SPOILERS OVER**

BOTTOM LINE: This isn’t one of the Bard’s strongest plays, but if you’re already a fan then it’s worth reading. If not, start with one of his better comedies, like Twelfth Night, As You Like It or Much Ado About Nothing.

“He hath never fed of the dainties that are bred in a book; he hath not eat paper, as it were; he hath not drunk ink.”

“As sweet and musical
As bright Apollo's lute, strung with his hair;
And when Love speaks, the voice of all the gods
Makes heaven drowsy with the harmony.” ( )
  bookworm12 | Dec 5, 2012 |
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» Add other authors (53 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
William Shakespeareprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brooke, C. F. TuckerEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cross, Wilbur L.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Furness, Horace HowardEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Holland, PeterEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rolfe, William J.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Straat, E.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Woudhuysen, H. R.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First words
Let fame, that all hunt after in their lives,
Live register'd upon our brazen tombs
And then grace us in the disgrace of death;
When, spite of cormorant devouring Time,
The endeavor of this present breath may buy
That honour which shall bate his scythe's keen edge
And make us heirs of all eternity.
Quotations
A man in all the world's new fashion planted,

That hath a mint of phrases in his brain.
He draweth out the thread of his verbosity finer than the staple of his argument.
They have been at a great feast of languages, and stolen the scraps.
A jest's prosperity lies in the ear

Of him that hears it, never in the tongue

Of him that makes it.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0743484924, Mass Market Paperback)

Folger Shakespeare Library

The world's leading center for Shakespeare studies

• Freshly edited text based on the best early printed version of the play

• Full explanatory notes conveniently placed on pages facing the text of the play

• Scene-by-scene plot summaries

• A key to famous lines and phrases

• An introduction to reading Shakespeare's language

• An essay by leading Shakespeare scholar, William C. Carroll, providing a modern perspective on the play

• Illustrations from the Folger Shakespeare Library's vast holdings of rare books

The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., is home to the world's largest collection of Shakespeare's printed works, and a magnet for Shakespeare scholars from around the globe. In addition to exhibitions open to the public throughout the year, the Folger offers a full calendar of performances and programs.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:44:38 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

The New Folger Library edition of Shakespeare's plays puts readers in touch with current ways of thinking about Shakespeare. Each volume contains full explanatory notes on pages facing the text of the play and a helpful introduction to Shakespeare's language. At the conclusion of each play is a full essay by a scholar who assesses the play in the light of today's interests and concerns.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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