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Love's Labour Lost

3.53  ·  Rating Details  ·  7,008 Ratings  ·  329 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)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jan 16, 2010 Matt rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Bill  Kerwin

It could be argued that one of the themes 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 quibblin
Anthony Vacca
Jun 26, 2014 Anthony Vacca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 30, 2016 Jaksen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am currently reading all of Shakespeare's plays. This is the seventh, and most disappointing thus far.

Now, this is a comedy with immense amounts of wordplay, puns, various malapropisms, etc., so to fully appreciate this play, and unless one has an inordinate knowledge of early modern English - which I do not - an annotated version is the way to go. This is what I did. I also read a lot of commentary and criticism, both positive and negative. One of the best comments I found was that this play
Liz Janet
Jan 20, 2016 Liz Janet rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Three men sworn off girls, then they see hot girls. They then proceed to forget their oath.

“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.”

Dec 11, 2013 Io? rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theater, british
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
Nov 16, 2014 Ben rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: english-lit, plays
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
The King of Navarre and his travelling companions swear to stay away from the company of females and it is a rollicking ride after that. Based on true historical figures (Henri IV of France), this is one of the earliest Shakespeare comedies and one of the least performed of his plays.

The first time I read this, it was a required reading (school), so as with anything 'required', I paid little heed. Later, when life provided opportunities for voluntary reading, I went back and gave it a whirl and
Mar 25, 2007 Conrad rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 13, 2016 Lealdo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Para cada cena, 5 kg de sabedoria, 3 porções de ironia com o mau discurso - ah, isso é antigo...aprendei, juristas! - e uma capacidade de me fazer crer na Doçura enquanto dura a peça.
Vanessa Wu
Feb 21, 2015 Vanessa Wu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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

None are so surely caught, when they are catch'd,
as wit turn'd fool: folly in wisdom hatch'd,
hath wisdom's warrant and the help of school
and wit's own grace to grace a learned fool.

Odd, as Shakespeare typically is.

Presenting love and plot as mere conceits--thus making toys of them--the play treats Wit on at least three levels. Perhaps more. Among them there is:

-The wit of fools (in such forms as the purest dimwit and the semi-wise fool)
-The wit of the sincerely foolish (the royals and their n

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
May 03, 2013 Phil rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 24, 2013 Melissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: play
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
Jul 06, 2010 Paul rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
بسام عبد العزيز
ملكة تزور ملك لعقد اتفاقية سياسية فتجد الملك قد اتخذ عهدا بألا تقرب النساء البلاط الملكي لمدة 3 سنوات ينغمس خلالها في تحصيل العلم..

الصدفة أن الملكة زارت الملك في نفس الوقت الذي بدأ فيه تعهده..
الصدفة الثانية أن الملك لديه 3 أتباع و الملكة لديها نفس العدد من الصديقات..
الصدفة الثالثة أن الملك يحب الملكة و كل واحد من أتباعه يحب واحدة من صديقات الملكة..
الصدفة الرابعة أن كل واحد من الملك و أتباعه يكتب الشعر في محبوبته.. جميعهم بلا أستثناء!
و هكذا تتوالى الصدف..

لا تسأل لماذا لم تحب الملكة أحد الأتباع؟!
Pippi Bluestocking
Aug 17, 2011 Pippi Bluestocking rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: play
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.
Cindy Rollins
Jun 11, 2015 Cindy Rollins rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Duaa Ahmed
كالعادة .. تتميز مسرحيات شكسبير بجمال خاص ورونق أخاذ ..

عذاب الحب الضائع أو مجهود الحب الضائع ، مسرحية كوميدية تتحدث عن الملك وثلاثة من خلانه اللذين أقسموا أن يتعلموا درسا في الأخلاق والفضيلة بأن يصوموا ثلاث سنين متواصلة يمتنعون عن كل ملذات الحياة من طعام طيب شهي أو مغازلة النساء .. وأقسم الملك أن لا يدخل قصره أي امراة مهما كان السبب ..

ومع ذلك تأتي أميرة من بلد آخر للتفاوض مع الملك في أمر قطعة أرض فإذ بالملك يعتذر منها عن عدم استطاعته أن يستقبلها في قصره ويعد لها مسكنا خارج القصر ..

تبدأ الأميرة
Mar 28, 2015 Sally rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I'm grateful to have heard from Cindy R about the Shakespeare in a Year reading plan, because I have not read Love's Labour's Lost before. I enjoyed Shakespeare's masterful misuse of words as he poked fun at the learned and erudite (ahem!) characters. But it made me sad to think of how so much of it would go over the heads of modern audiences, it seems to me anyway. If you don't know the correct Latin word/phrase or intended allusion, how can you appreciate the stuffy malapropism? So how would y ...more
Dec 02, 2015 J.M. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama, british
December of Drama 2015, day two

Delirious wordplay. Inconsequential plot. There's a nicely bitter twist at the end, which makes this far from a traditional comedy (what, no wedding?) and also intriguingly circular in construction. The four main dudes-- sorry: principal male characters-- swear off women for three years, then of course they all fall in love, only to have an inconvenient death take place which causes the princess paramour and her three ladies-in-waiting to force the men to wait afte
Jade Heslin
I feel like such a traitor for saying it, but I’m not really one for Shakespeare’s ‘comedies’, and as such I would class this play as ‘alright’. Obviously, it is a brilliant piece of drama, I just mean to say that by Shakespeare’s standards (which range from good to fantastifuckingamazing) this is at the lower end of the scale.

The jokes, as always, were a bit lost on me, but there was some great punning and the insults were certainly creative (my favourites being ‘nit’ and ‘pigeon egg’). I think
Jun 09, 2011 Edward rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"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
Helen Mears
Aug 22, 2012 Helen Mears rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 23, 2010 Max rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays, 2010, shakespeare
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
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
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
May 19, 2014 Dan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dylan Grant
Meh. This play mostly consists of outdated jokes that will go over most readers heads - certainly mine, anyway. It has compelling themes but the plot doesn't have much going forward. Not really recommended to anyone.

I was so disappointed since I usually love Shakespeare, but his comedies just aren't as good.
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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
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“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.”
“Beauty is bought by judgement of the eye.” 25 likes
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