Alison Marlowe's Reviews > Love's Labor's Lost

Love's Labor's Lost by William Shakespeare
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's review
Jan 27, 2012

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bookshelves: winter-quarter
Read on January 27, 2012

Well, that was tedious. As assigned reading for my "Bad Shakespeare" class, I can see why this play is not read more often. The puns are great, but they are numerous. Like, NUMEROUS. Like, resign yourself to either glancing down at the footnotes every ten lines (or fewer) or just skimming large sections of back-and-forth punning. I chose the former strategy for the first half of this play, but resorted to the latter strategy for the last half. I feel exhausted, and I'm not sure it's worth the exhaustion. I feel slightly cheated by the end, but I do also find a lot of humor in Shakespeare's conformity to Aristotle's unity of time, place, and action just to mess it up at the very end of that last, super long scene. It's kind of like, "Well, I had the unity for the whole play, so now I'm just going to deprive you of the traditional comedy-ending marriage and make it happen a year from now. HA!" Oh, Shakespeare.

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