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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: April ::
Re: Love's Labour's Wonne
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0667  Friday, 7 April 2003

From:           Bill Arnold <
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Date:           Friday, 4 Apr 2003 08:20:32 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 14.0578 Re: Love's Labour's Wonne
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0578 Re: Love's Labour's Wonne

John Drakakis writes, "The secret's out: Love's Labours Wonne is
Midsummer Night's Dream, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Measure For Measure
(problem), All's Well That Ends Well, Much Ado About Nothing etc. etc.
Mind you, whisper it noth in Gath, but Shakespeare wrote the script for
Robocop!"

It appears that John Drakakis, and others, do make light of the
suggested existence of "Love labours wonne."  I thought it might be
instructive to all to recall that the play was listed by Francis Meres
in Shakespearean English of 1598 in his Palladis Tamia, Wit's Treasury,
accordingly:

"So the sweet wittie soul of Ovid lives in melliflous and honytongued
Shakespeare, witnes his Venus and Adonis, his Lucrece, his sugred
Sonnets among his private frinds...the most passionate among us to
bewail and bemoan the perplexities of love...so Shakespeare among
y'English is the most excellent in both kinds for the stage: for Comedy,
witnes his Ge'tleme' of Verona, his Errors [The Comedy of...], his Love
labors lost, his Love labours wonne, his Midsummer night dreame, and his
Merchant of Venice: for Tragedy his Richard the 2.  Richard the 3.
Henry the 4. [assumed, Parts I and II combined] King John, Titus
andronicus and his Romeo and Juliet."

This is an early and historically accurate list of the known and
accepted writings, poetry and plays of Will Shakespeare, and certain
conclusions can be drawn.  The play is listed as a "Comedy" by a
contemporary and is attributed to the same author, and it is listed as a
separate play from known plays--such as MND and "Ge'tleme' of Verona."

Unless there is another earlier list than this one [brought to my
attention by Samuel Schoenbaum's Shakespeare's Lives], it appears that
"Love labours wonne" is not to be confused with others cited in the 1598
list by Francis Meres.

Perhaps there are other early lists, of which I am not aware?

Bill Arnold
http://www.cwru.edu/affil/edis/scholars/arnold.htm

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