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Love's Labor's Lost

3.53  ·  Rating details ·  9,394 ratings  ·  537 reviews
Known as a "feast of language," this is one of the bard's earliest comedies, in which four bachelors who have dedicated themselves to chastity and scholarly pursuits soon encounter the women of their dreams.
Paperback, 256 pages
Published September 7th 2004 by Signet (first published 1595)
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3.53  · 
Rating details
 ·  9,394 ratings  ·  537 reviews

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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
Mar 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, shakespeare, drama
- William Shakespeare, Love's Labor's Lost


The plot was a bit underwhelming but the dialogue was razor sharp. Sometimes, Shakespeare's early plays just seem like discoing dervishes in a mirror-adorned room. As a reader we are amazed, dazzled, and distracted by all that is going on, by the spinning virtuosity of Shakespeare's words, by his absolute mastery of the English language, by his dash, his deft slight-of-tongues. There just doesn't seem to be ENOUGH central na
peiman-mir5 rezakhani
دوستانِ گرانقدر، این نمایشنامه یکی از آثار هنرمندانهٔ زنده یاد «شکسپیر» میباشد که با موضوعی جالب و شادی بخش، درس هایِ زیادی در دلِ خود جای داده است
عزیزانم، داستان در موردِ «شاه فردیناند» و ندیمانِ او «برون» ، «لانگاویل» و «دومن» میباشد که تصمیمی عجیب میگرند و با یکدیگر پیمان میبندند که به مدتِ سه سال نباید با هیچ زنی تماس داشته باشند- هفته ای یکروز نباید دست به غذا بزنند و در روزهایِ دیگر نیز روزی یک وعده باید غذا بخورند- شبی سه ساعت بیشتر نباید بخواب
Jan 12, 2010 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
Whitney Atkinson
I read Act 1 through Act 4 then definitely gave up. This is the hardest play to comprehend because the vocab was really under-explained, and I really didn't like any of the characters. I saw the play when my school did a production of it but they twisted it to have Harry Potter references, and even then it was confusing and weird. I'm just not a fan.
Anthony Vacca
Jun 23, 2014 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
Mahdi Lotfabadi
اونقدر برام دلنشین نبود... البته مترجم خودش اذعان کرده بود که کمدیها باید به زبان اصلی خونده بشه و ترجمه از لطفشون کم میکنه... نکتهی جالب برای من انتهای نمایشنامه بود که به نوعی میشه گفت تمهیدی پست مدرن به کار گرفته میشه و یک نوع فاصلهگذاری برشتی و یا مرگ مؤلف پساساختاری توش شکل میگیره و یکی از شخصیتها به اسم برون از بلند بودن نمایش شکایت میکنه! به هر حال همین فرمها و پیشرو بودن شکسپیر هست که اون رو موندگار کرده! ...more
Γιώργος Μπέλκος
Από τα καλύτερα έργα του συγγραφέα!! Στο έργο αυτό ο γραπτός λόγος φτάνει στα όριά του. Θεματολογικά θίγονται ζητήματα πάντα επίκαιρα για ανθρώπους που αναζητούν τα νοήματα πίσω από τα επιφαινόμενα. Η αναζήτηση της οδού της αλήθειας που κρύβεται σε αυτά τα νοήματα δεν βρίσκεται πάντα στο προφανές. Ο έρωτας φανερώνεται ως δύναμη μεταρσίωσης των ηθικοπλαστικών ιδεοληψιών σε μία θέση πυρός ενάντια στη χαμέρπεια που μας παρασύρει η μηχανικότητα.
Liz Janet
Feb 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  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.”

Mar 18, 2016 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
May 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The 2000 film of this play got me in trouble because I was laughing so loudly at Shakespeare; I was told after the film, Everybody (maybe 15 in the theater) HATES you. (Guess Americans are not s'posed to laugh at Great Drama--or poetry, either.)
Arguably Shakespeare's most Shakespearean play, or interplay: the exchanges of wit, what he would have overheard at Middle Temple and among his fellow actors. Rather than the text, I'll comment on Branagh's musical version, with himself as Berowne and Di
Zachary F.
They have been at a great feast of languages, and stolen the scraps.
-Act 5, Scene 1

This is probably my favorite of the three comedies I've read so far on my chronological journey through Shakespeare's works (the other two being The Comedy of Errors and The Two Gentlemen of Verona ), though it's also the densest and most challenging of the trio. The analysis I've read on this play makes a great deal of its preoccupation with language, the excessiveness of the wordplay even by Shakespearean sta
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.

2017 Update: Listened to Arkangel Audio and while the production was wonderful and the voices talented, it was confusing to keep up with 4 couples of roughly the same age with just voices. Better to have the book on hand when doing this one in audio.
Roy Lotz
He draweth out the thread of his verbosity finer than the staple of his argument.

This is one of Shakespeare’s earlier comedies, written when his greatest works were still years ahead of him. Yet Love’s Labor’s Lost is notably stronger than the comedies that preceded it—in plot, in characterization, and in thematic unity. The play’s defining feature, however, is the exuberance of Shakespearean language on display. The wordplay dances on the edge of sense, sometimes straying into phrases so garb
Nov 16, 2014 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
Jan 23, 2013 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
فاطمة عبد الرحمن
ملك نافار وأصدقاؤه الثلاثة قطعوا عهدا علي أنفسهم أن يتخلوا عن ملذات الحياة ويتفرغوا لطلب العلم وألا تنظر أعينهم أمرأة قط ، فانظر ماذا حدث!
تزوره أميرة فرنسا وصديقاتها الثلاث أيضا، تخيل! .. في بداية عهده ذاك، ثم يهيم الملك بحب الأميرة ويعشق أصدقاؤه الثلاث صديقاتها الثلاث.. يا إلهي!

يُرسل أحدهم الرسائل لمحبوبته خِلسة من وراء الصُحبة، حتي لا يكون خائنا للعهد، وبكل سهولة ينكشف المخطط المُخِل، ويعترف الرجال أنهم عاشقون، ويأتي بيرون ليُحلل فِعلتهم ويريحهم من عذاب الضمير، فيقتنعون بحُجته التي طلبوها من
Jan 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like most of Shakespeare’s comedies, this has to be seen onstage to be fully appreciated I think. But reading it seems just as mandatory – LLL is so laden with wordplay that it’s often hard to follow without any prior knowledge of the text (it’s hard to appreciate lines like “Light, seeking light, doth light of light beguile” if there’s no time to reflect). It’s certainly not one of Shakespeare’s best comedies, but I think the premise of men secluding themselves from women and nature by forming ...more
Sex jokes and pedant mockery aren't enough to carry a play, and Berowne and Rosaline may be prototypes of Benedick and Beatrice, but they've got a long way to go to reach that couple's level of complexity, sympathy, and charm. Aside from a few good speeches and clever exchanges, this was pretty dull.
May 25, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
چقدر بد بود.
به بدبختی تمومش کردم.
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I didn't like this one and this was the last one on my TBR, so we ended that Shakespeare Binge on a low, it's a shame.
يعتكف ملك نافار ( فردنند ) مع ثلاثة من المقربين منه ( براون , لونغافيل , دومين ) في قصرهم رافضين اي متعة من متع الحياة لمد ثلاث سنوات . يصومون يوما" في الاسبوع ويأكلون القليل ويمتنعون نهائيا عن النساء ويستمرون في الدراسة لطلب العلم ... وأقسم الملك أن لا تدخل قصره أي امراة مهما كان السبب ..

ومع ذلك تأتي أميرة فرنسا للتفاوض مع الملك في أمر قطعة أرض فإذ بالملك يعتذر منها عن عدم استطاعته أن يستقبلها في قصره ويعد لها مسكنا خارج القصر .. فتقرر الأميرة ورفيقاتها مشاكسة الملك والضحك على عقولهم هو ورفاقه
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
Pippi Bluestocking
Aug 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama
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.
Manuel Alfonseca
ENGLISH: This comedy is a show of puns and witticisms. There are so many, that sometimes they overwhelm. The trouble is, not even an educated modern Englishman is now capable to detect them all, which means that there are several hundred footnotes. I am afraid this makes the comedy unrepresentable, and of course untranslatable to other languages, although that was the case from the beginning. I am sure Shakespeare had a lot of fun writing this comedy, and I suspect that he was actually pulling t ...more
Keri Solaris
Feb 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Vanessa Wu
Feb 21, 2015 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
Mar 24, 2007 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
أحمد 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
Buse Arslan
Sep 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yine devamı bulunamayan sevdiğim bir eserle karşı karşıyayım. Kısa bir şekilde anlatmak gerekirse bir kadınla beraber olmamaya bir süre yemin eden kral ve elçilerinin şehre gelen prenses ve yardımcıları arasındaki ilişkileri, tatlı oyunları anlatıyor. Olayların iki gün içerisinde gerçekleştiğini önsözde fark ettim bu nedenle biraz şaşkınım. İki hafta gibi bir sürede geçtiğini düşünüyordum. Kafamda bu büyük ayrıntıyı görmezden geleceğim.
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  • The Lady's Not for Burning
  • The School for Wives / The Learned Ladies
  • Shakespeare After All
  • The Shoemaker's Holiday
  • The Master Builder
  • The Revenger's Tragedy
  • Shakespeare's Language
  • Hero and Leander
  • Bartholomew Fair
  • The Man of Mode
  • The White Devil
  • Plays Unpleasant
  • Everyman and Medieval Miracle Plays (Everyman's Library)
  • The Beaux' Stratagem
  • All for Love
  • The Caretaker & The Dumb Waiter
  • The Malcontent
  • Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare?
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
“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.” 23 likes
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