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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: April ::
Love's Labours Won
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0717  Friday, 15 April 2005

[1]     From:   David Basch <
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        Date:   Thursday, 14 Apr 2005 15:48:09 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0708 Love's Labours Won

[2]     From:   John Briggs <
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        Date:   Friday, 15 Apr 2005 02:22:24 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0708 Love's Labours Won


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Basch <
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Date:           Thursday, 14 Apr 2005 15:48:09 -0400
Subject: 16.0708 Love's Labours Won
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0708 Love's Labours Won

Sandra Sparks wrote:

 >Has anyone ever made any progress in finding any portion of this lost
 >play? Not as a retitled version as some think (All's Well, or other
 >guesses) but as a continuation of Love's Labours Lost?

Concerning Sandra Sparks' query about whether anyone ever found Love's
Labour's Won, here is something clarifying that I read. I don't know if
he is right, but Professor Leslie Hotson (late of Yale) offered the
solution to the lost play of Love's Labour's Won as the play Troilus and
Cressida.

He suggested that everyone gets the meaning of the titles wrong on
Love's Labour's Won (and Lost), failing to note the second apostrophe in
Labour's. To lose love's labor means that you are not "laboring" anymore
for it, that is, suffering its ravages, the ravages having been at last
lost. That is the good thing that happens in that play Love's Labour's
Lost (Love's Labour IS Lost). But in T&C, Troilus indeed wins love's
labor. His life carries love's burden. Truly, in Troilus's case, Love's
Labour's Won (Love's Labour IS won).

Anyway, that is what Leslie Hotson thought.

David Basch

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Briggs <
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 >
Date:           Friday, 15 Apr 2005 02:22:24 +0100
Subject: 16.0708 Love's Labours Won
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0708 Love's Labours Won

Sandra Sparks wrote:

 >Has anyone ever made any progress in finding any portion of this lost
 >play? Not as a retitled version as some think (All's Well, or other
 >guesses) but as a continuation of Love's Labours Lost?

I don't know what "progress" Sandra Sparks expects simple scholars to
make: we can't conjure up non-existent plays out of thin air (although
T.W. Baldwin managed to write a whole book about this one!)  If it is
any consolation, no portions of any other lost plays by Shakespeare have
been found!

It is by no means obvious that LLW is a sequel to LLL - there are
unlimited other explanations (or limited only by human imagination,
which amounts to the same thing).  All that we actually know is that it
was apparently known as a play by Shakespeare (or as a book, assumed to
be of a play by Shakespeare) to Francis Meres, and as a book to a
contemporary stationer. But we also know that there was a lost 'first'
quarto of LLL.  My own suggestion (invoking, as usual, Ockham's Razor)
is that this lost quarto was a 'Bad' quarto, and bore the title "Love's
Labours Lost, Love's Labours Won".

John Briggs

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