Summer Shakespeare II

Bruce A. McMenomy, Ph.D. for Scholars Online
2016: Wednesdays, 1:00-3:00 p.m. Eastern Time
June 15 - Aug. 10

June 15:
The Comedy of Errors
Shakespeare's Sources

June 22:
Coriolanus
Rhetoric

June 29:
NONE

July 6:
The Winter’s Tale
Dramatic Unities

July 13:
Antony and Cleopatra
Characterization and Time

July 20:
The Merry Wives of Windsor
Shared Characters

July 27:
Henry VI, Parts 1, 2, and 3
History and Politics

August 3:
Love’s Labour’s Lost
Theatricality

August 10:
All’s Well That Ends Well
The Problem Comedies

Love’s Labour’s Lost

Things to consider while reading Love’s Labour’s Lost

We know from other sources that this play was the first of a pair, the second (now lost) surviving only in its title, Love’s Labour’s Won. As such it is curiously incomplete. It also contains a few rather peculiar elements that are hard to square with the overall flow of the plot, though it is impossible from here to say whether they would have made more sense had they been taken up again in the sequel.

The play is a relatively early one — having been written in 1595 — and its pillorying of the Spanish ambassador may reflect the general English attitude toward the Spanish after the destruction of the Spanish Armada (1588).

Here is the Royal Shakespeare Company’s page on Love’s Labour’s Lost, containing a brief synopsis of the play and the production history with the company.

Here’s a summary of Love’s Labour’s Lost on film.


Love’s Labour’s Lost and what has come before


Shakespeare’s Sources


Themes that emerge in the play (only a few of the many)


Symmetries in the play


Problems in the play