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Love's Labour's Lost

by William Shakespeare

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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2,109296,178 (3.46)76
"I feel that I have spent half my career with one or another Pelican Shakespeare in my back pocket. Convenience, however, is the least important aspect of the new Pelican Shakespeare series. Here is an elegant and clear text for either the study or the rehearsal room, notes where you need them and the distinguished scholarship of the general editors, Stephen Orgel and A. R. Braunmuller who understand that these are plays for performance as well as great texts for contemplation." (Patrick Stewart) The distinguished Pelican Shakespeare series, which has sold more than four million copies, is now completely revised and repackaged. Each volume features: * Authoritative, reliable texts * High quality introductions and notes * New, more readable trade trim size * An essay on the theatrical world of Shakespeare and essays on Shakespeare's life and the selection of texts… (more)
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» See also 76 mentions

English (26)  French (1)  Catalan (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (29)
Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
I enjoyed the absurd interactions between Holofernes and Nathaniel, and the whole play was a good bit of light-hearted fun. But I couldn't help but feel that even Shakespeare went a bit too far with the ostentatious verbiage on this occasion. ( )
  ubiquitousuk | Jun 30, 2022 |
Not so profound a play as Twelfth Night, but an entertainment which has stuck with me over the decades. To the modern eye this is obviously a satire upon manners of the time, and it is more accessible to the modern reader than many of the other plays from the same hand. A king decides to absent himself from duties and cultivate his mind. His male courtiers perforce fall in with the scheme. but the ladies are annoyed to be deprived of male company, and break into the plan, with predictable by-play. Biron and Rosaline find each other, and even the king finds himself compromised. He shortens the period he will be cloistered and everyone promises to meet again in a year, to see how their affections have held. And, we all go home, wondering which couples will stand the strain. ( )
  DinadansFriend | May 24, 2022 |
Had a pause of a few days before reading the last scene, so really these four stars are for the last scene. Otherwise, it seemed pretty much like a proto-Merry Wives. Boyet really came through in the end, as did Berowne. ( )
  misslevel | Sep 22, 2021 |
Usually I’m a big fan of Shakespeare’s comedies, but this play is so strange and underwhelming that I just can’t quite get on board with it. The premise is simple - 3 scholars plus a king make a vow to devote themselves to study and forswear any indulgences including the company of women, so of course along comes three ladies and a princess hoping to form a marriage alliance. The play isn’t particularly well-developed in my opinion (all the characters are pretty interchangeable and their tomfoolery is much simpler than in other plays), but that makes a certain amount of sense considering that it is one of his earlier efforts in the genre. Shakespeare utilizes similar techniques to explore male and female relationships in later plays (using masks, heightening the vocal sparring, and going as far as swapping genders) to much greater effect, but here we can see the simple beginnings of a playwright flexing his pen & ink. ( )
  JaimieRiella | Feb 25, 2021 |
36. Love's Labor's Lost by William Shakespeare
editors John Arthos & series editor Sylvan Barnett
Essays afterward Walter Pater, Northrop Frye (“The Argument of Comedy”), Richard David, Robert Shore
originally performed: c1595
format: 176-page Signet Classic paperback
acquired: May
read: May 31 – July 3
time reading: 11 hr 32 min, 3.9 min/page
rating: 5
locations: Navarre, Spain
about the author April 23, 1564 – April 23, 1616

On a lighter note, a Shakespeare play on Love's Warriors flinging and deflecting sonnets, with calls to arms. As one character puts it, "Assist me some extemporal god of rhyme, for I am sure I shall turn sonnet.” Beware.

The premise is the King of Navarre (not Henry, but a reference to the then current French King) takes three friends and founds an ascetic community dedicated entirely to knowledge. No women are allowed in to distract. Alas, a princess visits on business, attended conveniently by three ladies. Four love matches spontaneously develop and the ascetic rules the king set up get deeply tried.

Love's Labour's Lost has some stage trouble because of the difficulty of the language. But it works wonderfully on the page and probably also on the stage when done well. Essentially there are three short clever but lingually difficult acts, then an Act 4 of ridiculous love sonnets, four long ones. But these sonnets are surficial and their silliness is the point. The last act, Shakespeare's longest, drops everything, plot and language, down to an easier level, includes an entire play within a play who purpose is to mock to actors. It offers a conclusion that roughly, and appropriately, shows all was for naught, hence the title. Thoroughly enjoyable and recommended with a touch of caution. Not everyone in the group I read with liked it.

2020
https://www.librarything.com/topic/318836#7219080 ( )
  dchaikin | Jul 18, 2020 |
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» Add other authors (37 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Shakespeare, Williamprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brooke, C. F. TuckerEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cajander, PaavoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Craft, KinukoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cross, Wilbur L.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
David, RichardEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Furness, Horace HowardEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harbage, AlfredEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hart, H. C.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Holland, PeterEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kredel, FritzCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lindholm, JuhaniTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rolfe, William J.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Straat, E.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Woudhuysen, H. R.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
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.
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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"I feel that I have spent half my career with one or another Pelican Shakespeare in my back pocket. Convenience, however, is the least important aspect of the new Pelican Shakespeare series. Here is an elegant and clear text for either the study or the rehearsal room, notes where you need them and the distinguished scholarship of the general editors, Stephen Orgel and A. R. Braunmuller who understand that these are plays for performance as well as great texts for contemplation." (Patrick Stewart) The distinguished Pelican Shakespeare series, which has sold more than four million copies, is now completely revised and repackaged. Each volume features: * Authoritative, reliable texts * High quality introductions and notes * New, more readable trade trim size * An essay on the theatrical world of Shakespeare and essays on Shakespeare's life and the selection of texts

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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