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Analysis

Literary Devices in Love's Labour's Lost

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Rich or poor, the men in the play need people to look up to. The motif of heroes recurs again and again – go to "Shout Outs" for a running list. At one point Armado asks Moth what other great...

Setting

Navarre is a region in Northern Spain. But that doesn't really matter. What matters is that this play takes place outside. In Shakespeare's comedies, outside means freedom, fun, and sexual chemistr...

Genre

Is Love's Labour's Lost a comedy? Berowne doesn't think so. Think about when he says: "These ladies' courtesy / Might well have made our sport a comedy" (5.2.390).On the other hand, the play featur...

Tone

The tone of Love's Labour's Lost is strongly influenced by its open-air setting. Until the entrance of Marcade, an open feeling of fun and silliness pervades the play, which abounds with games. The...

Writing Style

Language is almost another character in this play. Seriously, the plot just seems like an excuse for Shakespeare to indulge his taste and talent for putting words together. Have you ever seen so ma...

What's Up With the Title?

You try to do some research on this play and have a hard time coming up with material. How do you spell the darn thing, anyway? Is it Love's Labors Lost? Love's Labour's Lost? Are there two apostro...

What's Up With the Ending?

Someone who hasn't seen or read this play might be surprised at the ending. After several extended wooing sessions, many sighs, far more love poems than we thought possible, a masque and a play-wit...

Tough-o-Meter

Like a lot of Shakespeare, Love's Labour's Lost is much harder to read than it is to see on stage. Why? The wordplay. Battles of wits are huge in this play, and you often just won't get the joke un...

Plot Analysis

The King of Navarre and his men take an oath.The play opens with the King, Berowne, Longaville and Dumain putting in writing what they've already agreed to do: study for three years, abstain from w...

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis: Comedy

The noblemen of Navarre take a life-denying vow in favor of hardcore learning.These lords want to reject everything that gives pleasure: food, women and sleep. In their youthful eagerness to unders...

Three Act Plot Analysis

The King of Navarre and his pals take an oath to swear off women. Their resolve is tested when the Princess of France and her women arrive on the scene.The men go through elaborate rituals of wooin...

Trivia

Navarre is real! Explore the photos and culture of the play's setting here.

Steaminess Rating

This play is all about romance: wanting it and figuring out how to get it. The lords fall in love with the ladies at first sight. Once they mutually resolve to break their oath, each nobleman gives...

Allusions

Cupid (2.1.39) – the god of love. Kind of the patron saint of this play.Nestor (4.3.39) – a kind King Argus (3.1.76) – a giant with 100 eyesJove (4.3.36) – god of sky and th...
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