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Love's Labour's Lost

Love's Labour's Lost

Love's Labour's Lost Themes

Little Words, Big Ideas

Love

Shakespeare had a big vision of love. It's not just physical, spiritual, or intellectual – it's all of the above. In Love's Labour's Lost, love is the great synthesizer of humanity. Most of t...

Education

In Love's Labour's Lost, the main characters are young people figuring how to live. There are no elders there to guide them, so they are self-educating. The men are extreme, taking vows to abstain...

Cunning and Cleverness

In the world of Love's Labour's Lost, where men and women are kept apart, seduction takes the form of language. Instead of a plume of red feathers, the men have their wits. Intellectual conversatio...

Literature and Writing

What happens when you fall in love? In Love's Labour's Lost, every lover must write a love letter. Writing is practically a prerequisite to being in love. Once a character explores the art of love-...

Sex

In Love's Labour's Lost, sex and sexual attraction sparks self-discovery. If the characters hadn't been attracted to each other, they wouldn't have renounced their absurd, life-denying vows. If the...

Principles

The principles we see in Love's Labour's Lost are too restrictive, and too prescriptive for this open-air world. The play begins with young men taking oaths not to have any contact with women. But...

Men and Masculinity

The men in Love's Labour's Lost are young and full of ambition. They want to be great men, strong, smart, and famous. They want to be Hercules and Solomon, all at once. They just don't quite know h...

Women and Femininity

The women of Love's Labour's Lost are light-years ahead of the men. They seem older and more sophisticated. The play ends with each man running after the woman he loves, and each woman saying, "Com...

Man and the Natural World

Nature is all around Love's Labour's Lost: in the setting, stage directions, and imagery. The action takes place in the open air. Exposure to the elements, which are gentle enough for the women to...

Time

Time has a big role in Love's Labour's Lost. In the absence of the courtiers' birth parents, Nature and Time work together to teach their young charges. The lessons? Number One: timing matters. Nu...

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