Love's Labour's Lost: Commentary


Love's Labour's Lost: "A Set of Wit Well Played"

You may have found Love's Labour's Lost a difficult play to enjoy when you first read it. It is the familiar problem of a comedy, especially a comedy that depends so much on purely verbal wit: the timing of the actors and the stage "business" do so much to bring the laughter off the page. But as you work through the play a second time, much of the wit will become clearer, and you will recognize the originality and coherence of the play's themes.

The commentary that follows looks at the social and literary structure of the play, the language, and the intricacies of the long final act with its surprise ending.

  1. The Courtly/courting Dance
  2. Theme and variations in language
  3. Unmasking the Masquers
  4. A Surprise Ending
The ladies confer
The Princess and her ladies confer.

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This page last updated April 20, 1997. Enquiries to Michael Best, mbest1@uvic.ca.
© Michael Best, The University of Victoria, and the Open University of B.C.