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Encyclopedia > Love's Labour's Lost

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Love's Labour's Lost

One of Shakespeare's early comedies, Love's Labour's Lost lacks the witty dialogue and compelling characters of his more mature work.

The play opens with the King of Navarre swearing off women, food and sleep in favor of study. Three of his friends join him in this pledge. Shortly after their oath, a Princess arrives with three of her ladies. The King denies them entry into his court, but soon the nobles and the ladies pair off and the courtship ensues.

Following a lighthearted play at love, the news arrives that the Princess's father has died and she must leave to take the throne. The nobles swear to remain true to their ladies, who act surprised that anyone took the flirtation seriously. The play ends with a rather unsatisfying departure and, oddly for a comedy, no weddings.

See also: Love's Labour's Lost (2000 movie)[?]

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