I’ve decided with a few exceptions that all of Shakespeare’s comedies could be named the same thing and no one would know the difference. Love’s Labour’s Lost matches almost all the other comedies I’ve read so far. The title means little as with As You Like It and Much Ado About Nothing. This play has the same kind of structure. A bunch of men are wooing a bunch of women. They think it would be great fun to dress up and trick the objects of their affections to only have those objects do the same. The only thing this needed was a woman dressing up like a man.
The biggest difference in this comedy and most of the others is that it doesn’t end in marriage. At the end the Princess of France’s father dies. She is going to return to France. She tells the King of Navarre that he will have to wait a year and a day to marry her. This is the same for all those who are wooing the ladies in the Princess’s court. It turns out that all their labours for love are lost, but not really. They just have to wait a year and a day. This might not be such a bad thing since most of the characters professed undying love within hours of meeting the objects of their affections. Maybe they should have read Romeo and Juliet to find out how those kind of relationships work out.
I didn’t dislike this comedy as much as As You Like It or Much Ado About Nothing. But I didn’t like it as well as The Merry Wives of Windsor either. It was a nice change from the history plays that I’ve been slogging through, however. And if you cannot tell by the length of this entry, I did take some time to consider this play.
It is said that Shakespeare wrote a play called “Love’s Labour’s Gained”. It is believed to be lost. I wonder if it was the sequel that occurred a year and a day after this play ended. What things might have unfolded? Perhaps a lady dressed as a man. Much like how many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie pop, the world may never know.