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Love's Labor's Lost by William Shakespeare

Love's Labor's Lost (edition 2005)

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

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1,518184,865 (3.52)54
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
Tags:read, play, Nov., 2012

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Love's Labour's Lost by William Shakespeare



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English (16)  French (1)  Swedish (1)  All (18)
Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
A king and his gentlemen vow to remain celibate, studious and moderate in their habits for three years to improve their minds. They have signed their names to this vow. Oops! They forgot that an embassy from France was due soon, consisting of a princess and her ladies! Shenanigans ensue. And wordplay, such wordplay!

What seemed at first a fairly shallow and cynical plot, developed by the end to be a story of depth. No fools these women, they understood these men better than the men understood themselves, and called them on their foolishness. Shakespeare leaves the ending undecided, as the twelve month penance the men are given by the women is "too long for a play." ( )
  MrsLee | Feb 14, 2017 |
The 2000 film of this play got me in trouble because I was laughing so loudly at Shakespeare; I was told after the film, "Everybody in this room HATES you." (Guess Americans are not s'posed to laugh at Great Drama--or poetry, either.)
Arguably Shakespeare's most Shakespearean play, or interplay: the exchanges of wit, what he would have overheard at Middle Temple and among his fellow actors. Rather than the text, I'll comment on Branagh's musical version, with himself as Berowne and Director, Scorsese as producer. It's hilarious, especially for a Shakespearean; I laughed throughout so much (my laugh scares babies) one lady in the audience 25 came up to me after the film to kindly inform, "Everybody in this room HATES you." I thanked her for the admonition.
Very slow, stagey opening lines by the Prince. Dunno why. They cut the poetry criticism, and substitute the American songbook--Gershwin, Berlin--for poems. The Don Armado stuff (with Moth his sidekick) is broad, not literary: mustachioed, funny body, melancholy humor. Armado's the most overwritten love-letter, parodying catechism; but he is standard Plautine Braggart Soldier ("Miles Gloriosus") by way of commedia dell'arte. Then the Plautine Pedant (commedia Dottore) Holofernia crosses gender, a female professor type. Costard wears a suit, maybe a Catskills standup.
Branagh cuts the Russian (or fake-Russian) lingo, "muoosa-Cargo" of the masked entrance.
Wonderful 30's film cliches: female swimmers, the dance scenes, the prop plane's night takeoff. Ends with WWII, grainy newsreel footage of the year, after news of the French Princess's father's death.
Berowne (pronounced .."oon") is sentenced privately "to move wild laughter in the throat of death…" His judge, Rosaline, points out the Bard' instruction on jokes: "A jest's prosperity lies in the ear / Of him that hears it, never in the tongue / Of him that makes it" (V.end). LLL ends with death and winter (the Russian an intimation?): "When icicles hang by the wall,/ And Dick the shepherd blows his nail,/ And Tom bears logs into the hall,/ And milk comes frozen home in pails.." and the owl talks, "Tu-whit..Tu whoo, a merry note/ While greasy Joan doth keel the pot." That's the European Tawny Owl (male and female must combine for it) so an American director might replace with the same prosody, "Who cooks for youuu?"(the Barred Owl).
In the penultimate scene, Dull is onstage the whole scene nere speaking a word until Holofernes says, "Thou hast spoken no word the while," to which Dull, "Nor understood none neither, sir."
Well, no wonder, if he has no Latin, for Costard offers, "Go to, thou has it AD dunghill…as they say." Hol, "Oh, I smell false Latin--dunghill for UNGUEM." The Bard kindly explains the Latin joke, essential for modern American readers.
Incidentally, Berowne uses Moliere-like rhymed couplets in his social satire on Boyet, V.ii.315ff. His most daring rhymes, "sing/ushering" and maybe "debt/Boyet." ( )
  AlanWPowers | Oct 21, 2016 |
This had some great wit as is usual for Shakespeare, but it being (likely) his first comedy, it doesn't have the complexity of plot and broadness of language that most of his later comedies have.
( )
  Jen.ODriscoll.Lemon | Jan 23, 2016 |
This had some great wit as is usual for Shakespeare, but it being (likely) his first comedy, it doesn't have the complexity of plot and broadness of language that most of his later comedies have.
( )
  Jen.ODriscoll.Lemon | Jan 23, 2016 |
In one of Shakespeare's earliest plays the King of Navarre and the Princess of France and their attendants meet, and the various couples fall in love over jesting and witty repartee. As the title suggests, however, love does not win in the end as the ladies return to France due to a tragedy and insist that the gentlemen wait a year before continuing to court them.

I've never seen this one done (either live on stage or as a movie), so it was harder for me to follow than the Shakespeare plays that I've seen before reading. It did have its good moments, and there were several themes that Shakespeare began to explore here before fully developing them in later works. One major complaint that I do have is that there were just too many characters for me to keep them all straight. ( )
  AmandaL. | Jan 16, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (46 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Shakespeare, Williamprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brooke, C. F. TuckerEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Craft, KinukoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cross, Wilbur L.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
David, RichardEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Doran, Gregorysecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Furness, Horace HowardEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hart, H. C.Editorsecondary 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.
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.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
This work is for the COMPLETE "Love's Labour's Lost" ONLY. Do not combine this work with abridgements, adaptations or "simplifications" (such as "Shakespeare Made Easy"), Cliffs Notes or similar study guides, or anything else that does not contain the full text. Do not include any video recordings. Additionally, do not combine this with other plays.
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:50 -0400)

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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)

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