Shakespeare quotes, notes, timelines & more

Home » Reading Will » Figures of Speech » Reading Will » Love's Labors Lost

Love's Labors Lost

Written: 1594-5; Texts: Quarto 1598, First Folio 1623 (Comedy)
Source: No written source for the plot has been found although the influence of Italian commedia dell' arte is evident
Characters: Berowne, Princess of France, Ferdinand King of Navarre, Boyet, Rosaline, Don Adriano de Armado, Costard, Moth, Dumaine, Holofernes, Longaville, Katherine
Setting: Navarre
Time: Undetermined

Xxx xxx

Learning by Living

Read the Note

In Love’s Labors Lost, Armado’s exclamation about the boy’s “Sweet smoke of rhetoric” complements the boy’s previous remark about his “penny of observation.” These two metaphors capture Shakespeare’s genius, both to observe and to poetically express human nature. In Love’s Labor’s Lost, the country boy, not the nobility, possesses these qualities.
… continue reading this note

Come on, then, I will swear to study so

Read the Quote

Berowne
Come on, then, I will swear to study so,
To know the thing I am forbid to know:
As thus—to study where I well may dine,
When I to feast  expressly am forbid;
Or study where to meet some mistress fine
When mistresses from common sense are hid;
Or having sworn too hard-a-keeping oath,
Study to break it,
… continue reading this quote

Act 1
Scene 1
Line 61

Source Type:

Spoken by:
, , ,

Berowne is like an envious sneaping frost

Read the Quote

King
Berowne is like an envious sneaping frost
That bites the firstborn infants of the spring.
Berowne
Well, say I am. Why should proud summer boast
Before the birds have any cause to sing?
Why should I joy in any abortive birth?
At Christmas I no more desire a rose
Than wish a snow in May’s new-fangled shows,
… continue reading this quote

Act 1
Scene 1
Line 74

Source Type:

Spoken by:
,

We must of force dispense with this decree

Read the Quote

King
We must of force dispense with this decree.
She must lie here on mere necessity.
Berowne
Necessity will make us all forsworn
Three thousand times within this three years’ space;
For every man with his affects is born,
Not by might mastered, but by special grace.
If I break faith, this word shall speak for me:
I am forsworn on mere necessity.
… continue reading this quote

Act 1
Scene 1
Line 150

Source Type:

Spoken by:
,

But is there no quick recreation granted?

Read the Quote

Berowne
But is there no quick recreation granted?
King
Ay, that there is. Our court, you know, is haunted
With a refinèd traveler of Spain,
A man in all the world’s new fashion planted,
That hath a mint of phrases in his brain;
One who the music of his own vain tongue
Doth ravish like enchanting harmony,
… continue reading this quote

Act 1
Scene 1
Line 165

Source Type:

Spoken by:
, ,

Themes:

I do affect the very ground (which is base)

Read the Quote

I do affect the very ground (which is base)
where her shoe (which is baser) guided by her foot
(which is basest) doth tread. I shall be forsworn
(which is a great argument of falsehood) if I love.
And how can that be true love which is falsely
attempted? Love is a familiar; love is a devil. There is
no evil angel but love,
… continue reading this quote

Act 1
Scene 2
Line 167

Source Type:

Spoken by:

Now, madam, summon up your dearest spirits

Read the Quote

Boyet
Now, madam, summon up your dearest spirits.
Consider who the King your father sends,
To whom he sends, and what’s his embassy.
Yourself, held precious in the world’s esteem,
To parley with the sole inheritor
Of all perfections that a man may owe,
Matchless Navarre; the plea of no less weight
Than Aquitaine, a dowry for a queen.
… continue reading this quote

Act 2
Scene 1
Line 1

Source Type:

Spoken by:
,

I know him, madam

Read the Quote

I know him, madam. At a marriage feast
Between Lord Perigort and the beauteous heir
Of Jaques Falconbridge, solemnizèd
In Normandy, saw I this Longaville.
A man of sovereign parts he is esteemed,
Well fitted in arts, glorious in arms.
Nothing becomes him ill that he would well.
The only soil of his fair virtue’s gloss,
If virtue’s gloss will stain with any soil,
… continue reading this quote

Act 2
Scene 1
Line 41

Source Type:

Spoken by:

The young Dumaine, a well-accomplished youth

Read the Quote

The young Dumaine, a well-accomplished youth,
Of all that virtue love for virtue loved.
Most power to do most harm, least knowing ill;
For he hath wit to make an ill shape good,
And shape to win grace though he had no wit.
I saw him at the Duke Alanson’s once,
And much too little of that good I saw
Is my report to his great worthiness.
… continue reading this quote

Act 2
Scene 1
Line 57

Source Type:

Spoken by:

Another of these students at that time

Read the Quote

Rosaline
Another of these students at that time
Was there with him, if I have heard a truth.
Berowne they call him, but a merrier man,
Within the limit of becoming mirth,
I never spent an hour’s talk withal.

His eye begets occasion for his wit,
For every object that the one doth catch
The other turns to a mirth-moving jest

His eye begets occasion for his wit,
… continue reading this quote

Act 2
Scene 1
Line 65

Source Type:

Spoken by:
,

Themes:

Master, will you win your love with a French brawl?

Read the Quote

Boy
Master, will you win your love with a French brawl?
Armado
How meanest thou? Brawling in French?
Boy
No, my complete master, but to jig off a tune at the tongue’s end, canary to it with your feet, humor it with turning up your eyelids, sigh a note and sing a note, sometimes through the throat as if you swallowed love with singing love,
… continue reading this quote

Act 3
Scene 1
Line 8

Source Type:

Spoken by:
,

Connected Notes:
Learning by Living