Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Love's Labour Lost” as Want to Read:
Love's Labour Lost
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
read book* *Different edition

Love's Labour Lost

3.54 of 5 stars 3.54  ·  rating details  ·  5,989 ratings  ·  243 reviews
This is a pre-1923 historical reproduction that was curated for quality. Quality assurance was conducted on each of these books in an attempt to remove books with imperfections introduced by the digitization process. Though we have made best efforts - the books may have occasional errors that do not impede the reading experience. We believe this work is culturally importan ...more
Hardcover, 254 pages
Published November 18th 2009 by BiblioLife (first published 1598)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Love's Labour Lost, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Love's Labour Lost

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Matt
What I learned from this play:

1. It is probably not the best laid plan to entrust the delivery of an urgent piece of mail to the town goof.
2. If a woman who you are not on romantic terms with suddenly shows up at your residence for a lengthy visit(???), do not make her camp out in the backyard. Let her have the nicest bed...and change the sheets perhaps. Shakespeare didn't mention that part - i'm just extrapolating...
3. While it is great fun to hang out with a group of guys and obsessively watc
...more
Anthony Vacca
Another terrific comedy from everyone's favorite Elizabethan playwright. This time Shakespeare throws a curveball that conforms to the popular conventions of stagecraft at the time (courtesy of Aristotle's list of Dramatic Do's and Don'ts in Poetics) and then confounds the typical endgame scenario for a Comedy, i.e. the obligatory pairing off of every single dude and dudette on the stage into forever happy marriages. The first four acts concern a king and his four loyal lords who make a pact to ...more
Bill  Kerwin

It could be argued that one of the subjects of Shakespeare's plays is the glories and failures of language itself. If so, it is truer of "Love's Labor's Lost" than of any other play in the canon. The courtiers, both in their sparring and wooing (and it is often difficult to tell which is which) engage in so much wordplay that they confuse each other and themselves. The comic characters also engage in continual wordplay, each specific to his stock type: fustian braggadocio, pedantic latinate quib
...more
Io?
Parole parole parole. Che danzano vorticosamente. Parole parole parole. Che promettono illudono e si perdono nel vuoto. Parole parole parole. Siamo capaci noi uomini di seminarle al vento. E poi venitemi a dire che Shakespeare non è più attuale!
Di una sola cosa sono amareggiato, ed è il fatto di non riuscir a leggerla in lingua originale (ma non mi do per vinto..). Nemi D'Agostino, nella sua traduzione, ha fatto veri e propri salti mortali per rendere il più possibile i giochi di parole contenut
...more
Ben
I found one! A Shakespeare play for which I care very little - dare I say, I don't like!

Yet even when confronted with works which do not titillate one's fancy, I imagine one can still find things to respect or even admire within it. While this play does not stimulate me, it may stand as one of Shakespeare's best in regards to his occupation as a wordsmith. He effortlessly plays with words like many athletes juggle balls or sticks. His characters dissect words nearly to the point of voiding them
...more
Conrad
This edition shamefully omits the u in "Labour's." Anyway, this is my favorite Shakespeare play, for two reasons: one, it's basically one huge unbelievably well-read reminder to get out and enjoy life more, and two, it's pinched into two tonally distinct parts. The beginning involves a young king who makes an agreement with his friends that they all need to dedicate themselves to their studies, and that they will live a perfectly ascetic and chaste life until they've earned their degrees or some ...more
Vanessa Wu
I should probably point out before I begin this review that I have watched the Opus Arte production of it on DVD several times, with subtitles, and it is largely thanks to the skill of the actors that I have managed to understand some of it. Trystan Gravelle as Berowne and Michelle Terry as the Princess of France are particularly brilliant.

By which I mean I can understand what they are saying.

But all the actors and actresses are excellent. I am always moved by the two songs at the end, which ar
...more
Phil
Another play that feels like a transition play. Really, this is slightly more than 3.5 stars, but not quite 4 stars, because while it's a huge improvement on A Comedy of Errors, it still feels like there's something missing. However, the plot is great: simple, ripe for comedy misunderstanding and pricking of pomposity.

The earnest young men in the court of Navarre decide to hide away for 3 years to study philosophy: not drink, fasting, meditation, endless study and debate and above all ... no co
...more
Melissa
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 wh
...more
Cindy Rollins
This is one of my favorite plays. I think of it as Shakespeare making fun of the educated class. In fact, I think this is Shakespeare using his massive imitation skills to make fun of them. Very fun play. Lots of word play.
Paul
It is Shakespeare, so it was meant to be seen and heard, not read. That said, I have enjoyed reading Othello, Much Ado about Nothing, Taming of the Shrew, etc. This one is a struggle. It has great lines and NO plot worth following. It is one Shakespearean gag after another and of course, that means each line is excellently crafted, smart, and (with annotation read first) very funny. But I could not finish it. It was boring with a childish plot and there is a reason you don't see this one perform ...more
Pippi Bluestocking
What can I say? Shakespeare makes love with the English language in this one. One can easily spot the ingredient that ornamented William's genes and can be found in Austen's and Wilde's as well. Fashionably witty, surprisingly erudite, gently amusing. Truly stunning.
Edward
"Sparkling repartee between the fair visitors from France and their host in Navarre, whose vow to study out of sight of woman is quickly broken, makes Love's Labour's Lost one of the most delightful and stageworthy of Shakespeare's comedies."
That's the GOODREADS blurb for a play that had too much "repartee" for me, and as for "sparkling", well, one man's sparkling is another man's "fizzling". Seems to me Shakespeare just couldn't restrain himself in this one - he has not one man giving up wome
...more
Helen Mears
This has always been my favourite Shakespeare comedy but, until now, I have seen it performed (several times) rather than read it. This time I read it alongside watching a DVD of the recent Globe Theatre production of the play. That's is the only way to read and fully appreciate the play. The production took LLL back to its Elizabethan roots and performs about 95% of the original text (as based on the 1598 Q1). A good production puts the word play into context and good performance serves to illu ...more
Max
I like Love's Labour's Lost a good deal, but it is a slog. It's full of outdated puns and wordplay and plays on wordplay and satire on rhetorical forms, and really the point of it all is lost to antiquity. But I like what is says essentially about the foolishness of youth, and the difference between words of love and the experience of love. Four noble boys say ridiculous things, silly in their earnestness, and four matching girls toy with their affections, and it's all fairly lovely, until the b ...more
Brins
A king and his lords together vow,
But books to love henceforth (from now);
Not ere a maid, a meal, a sow,
Will encroach their court over the next three years, which seems like a pretty tall order to me, but hey ho.

BUT ZOUNDS! The king, in haste to swear the oath,
Forgot a princess - and her ladies - indeed, both,
Were making way to him to repay debt.
Lord Berowne twigs that "of necessity" will all their oaths be crushed.

The three lords and king fall in love with the princess and three ladies. So much
...more
Yara
The university student is a strange creature, stuck in a curious limbo between adolescence and adulthood. It is said to be a time of great learning: you attend lectures on (hopefully) fascinating subjects, figure out how to pay an electricity bill, and do your own laundry. There is the pursuit of knowledge, the desire to evolve, a search for that elusive wisdom that all proper adults seem to possess… But you’re not an adult yet. Instead, you find yourself having water balloon fights outside the ...more
Dan
A few things on "Love's Labour's Lost," beyond the question of whether it contains a few extra apostrophes... By Shakespeare standards, there isn't a lot of plot in this play. Unlike many of the comedies (and all of the tragedies), at no point are any of the characters in any real danger. By most accounts, it does not line up to be a personal favorite. Yet, the play is full of subversive spirit, quite funny, and full of phenomenal (usually rhyming) banter. The central theme is of the inadequacy ...more
Salvatore
The antics and ridiculousness doesn't get much better than this, if only because the wordplay and banter are so extreme that the play gets better with the takedowns of the buildups. It's almost a treatise against higher education, which is exemplified by the annoyance of Holofernes's Henry James-like syntax, the men not being able to hold to their no-women policy when it comes to their three years' studies (they don't make it three days), and Armado's ridiculous grandeur towards the Jacquenetta ...more
Sparrow
In the introduction to this book, I learned about Shakespeare's play, Love's Labor's Won, which has been lost (ironically!).* Maybe I'd prefer that one. Because this entertainment is about a king, Ferdinand, and his retinue, Berowne, Longaville, Dumaine -- plus his page, Moth -- who retire into the forest for contemplative celibacy, but are derailed by a bunch of cute French gals. Perhaps in Love's Labor's Won they actually do meditate. I'd like to see Shakespeare handle that!

Love's Labor's Lost
...more
فضيض

من مسرحيات المرحلة الأولى في حياة شكسبير ومن أوائلها، وهناك كثير من التكلّف في الحوار، التكلّف الكثير جدًا، وأشير بشكل أعمى إلى الترجمة بالتأكيد التي ساعدت على إبراز ذلك، فهذه مسرحية شعرية بكل لفتاتها، أقصد أن المعاني الشعرية غلبت الأحداث كثيرًا وبسطت سيطرتها على الخشبة، فلا أحد حينها سيهتم لماذا كانوا أربعة وكنّ أربعة، ولماذا كل واحد منهم أعجب بواحدة مختلفة منهن بدون اتفاق وأحبّها حبًا جارفًا بهذه السهولة، ولماذا كل واحدة منهن أعجبت بمن أعجب بها في اتفاق غريب، ولا أحد سيهتم كثيرًا في وقوف الأبط
...more
V
Check this out – serendipity! I’m in Charlotte, NC, this weekend visiting my mom. Well, she had planned for us to see a Shakespeare play tonight ‘on the Green’. While making arrangements, guess what play we’re going to… Yes, “Love’s Labor’s Lost” – the next play I’m to read! An extra bonus is is that it’s Beatles-inspired (I’m a huge Beatles fan)!

Love’s Labor’s Lost
May 29 – June 15 @ The Green Uptown

Four best friends attempt to swear off women and devote themselves to study for three years. But
...more
Jacob Fisher
Shakespeare must have recognized the problem he left unaddressed in his portrayal of fidelity in "The Two Gentlemen of Verona." In "Love's Labour's Lost" he takes up the conflict between our determinations and our desires — between an oath and its fulfillment — with a balance of seriousness, self-conscious sentimentality, and unparalleled verbal wit. Once again Shakespeare proves himself a gifted humorist, but he demonstrates his growth as a playwright, moving beyond the simple laughs of his ear ...more
Matthew
Love's Labour's Lost is listed by some people as Shakespeare's second play, though it seems somewhat maturer than Henry VI or A Comedy of Errors, which are listed after it. It is clearly an early play, and characterisation strictly gives way to contrived plotting.

The story involves the King of Navarre and three of his noblemen deciding to eschew the pleasures of the world in favour of a year of purely academic study. Their plans are soon thrown into disarray by the arrival of the Princess of Fra
...more
Pietro Coen
This play is about a bunch of nerds falling in love and is reminiscent of the sit com The Big Bang; the story line is a bit odd, but not all that far fetched; it involves a group of people (the King of Navarre and three of his lords Berowne, Longaville and Dumaine) who swear an oath in Act I to “live and study here three years” and “not to see a woman in that term”, “one day a week to touch no food, and but one meal on every day beside”, “and then, to sleep but three hours in the night and not t ...more
ems
4 mocking wenches / racist jokes & penis jokes / what is a 4th wall
Helena
"Though Dr Johnson was too polite to say so, one of the reasons why Love's Labour's is Shakespeare at his most Shakespearean is that it is simultaneously one of his most elegant plays (rivalled only by As You Like It) and his most filthy (rivalled only by Troilus and Cressida)."

You can understand why I gave this five stars. I think this might just be one of Shakespeare's most undervalued plays. I had a blast reading this; every scene, every utterance, every word is riddled with wisecracks and wi
...more
Paul Haspel
Love is a many-splendored thing in many plays; but in William Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost, it seems a very laborsome thing. And even if the humor of this early Shakespeare play sometimes seems, well, labored, the Bard is such a gifted poet that it’s fun to listen to him wield his pen for poetry’s sake.

And you should focus here on Shakespeare’s unparalleled use of poetic language – because believe me, no one is going to read Love’s Labour’s Lost for the plot. The premise? Well, the King of
...more
Perry Whitford
'O' my troth, most sweet jests, most incony vulgar wit!'
Costard, Act IV, Scene II

In Shakespeare's insistingly playful, pun-tastic comedy, the king of Navarre and his three lords swear an oath to give themselves over to study and forbear the pleasures of the world for three years, including the society of women:

'The mind shall banquet, though the body pine.
Fat paunches have lean pates; and dainty bits
Make rich the ribs, but bankrupt quite the wits.'

A noble sentiment, but badly timed, for the P
...more
Emily
I give two stars to books I'm impatient to get over with, and I guess I have to be consistent, Bard or no. This is exactly the kind of untranslatable, clever humor that I was just saying I was happy The Comedy of Errors lacked. To give one example, there is a passage making puns based on the terms for deer of certain ages, pricket, sore, and sorel, and how L is the roman numeral for fifty, and I just give up. Sometimes it was hard for me to detect the pulse of the plot through all this raillery. ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Shakespeare Fans: Love's Labour's Lost Ending 4 51 Dec 29, 2012 06:12PM  
  • Bartholomew Fair
  • The Master Builder
  • The Spanish Tragedy
  • Shakespeare After All
  • Edward II
  • Man and Superman
  • The Shoemaker's Holiday
  • The Pirates of Penzance
  • The Lady's Not for Burning
  • Wasps (Clarendon Paperbacks)
  • All for Love
  • The Revenger's Tragedy
  • West Side Story
  • The Man of Mode
  • The Knight of the Burning Pestle
  • Shakespeare's Language
  • The Duchess of Malfi and Other Plays
  • Westward Ho! or, the Voyages and Adventures of Sir Amyas Leigh, Knight, of Burrough
947
William Shakespeare (baptised 26 April 1564) was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon" (or simply "The Bard"). His surviving works consist of 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been tr ...more
More about William Shakespeare...
Romeo and Juliet Hamlet Macbeth A Midsummer Night's Dream Othello

Share This Book

“From women's eyes this doctrine I derive:
They sparkle still the right Promethean fire;
They are the books, the arts, the academes,
That show, contain and nourish all the world.”
54 likes
“Beauty is bought by judgement of the eye.” 22 likes
More quotes…