William Shakespeare - Loves Labour's lost

Loves Labour's lost

Love’s Labour’s Lost was first published in 1598 and was the first published play to have “By W. Shakespeare” on its title page. The play’s slight action serves as a peg on which to hang a glittering robe of wit and poetry. It satirizes the loves of its main male characters as well as their fashionable devotion to studious pursuits. The noblemen in the play have sought to avoid romantic and worldly entanglements by devoting themselves in their studies, and they voice their pretensions in an artificially ornate style, until love forces them to recognize their own self-deceptions. The play’s title anticipates its unconventional ending: The women refuse to marry at the end, demanding a waiting period of 12 months for the men to demonstrate their reformation. “Our wooing does not end like an old play,” says Berowne; “Jack hath not Jill.”