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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: April ::
Love's Labours Won
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0769  Friday, 22 April 2005

[1]     From:   David Basch <
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        Date:   Thursday, 21 Apr 2005 12:39:04 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0755 Love's Labours Won

[2]     From:   John Briggs <
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        Date:   Friday, 22 Apr 2005 01:51:25 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0755 Love's Labours Won


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Basch <
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Date:           Thursday, 21 Apr 2005 12:39:04 -0400
Subject: 16.0755 Love's Labours Won
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0755 Love's Labours Won

I think again and again, persons on this list fail to recognize that the
title of LLL is Love's Labour's Lost, with two apostrophes that make the
title, Love's Labour IS Lost. As Leslie Hotson noted, to lose love's
labour is to be successful in love, though they nobly had to wait a year
before getting married in sympathy with the princess who mourned her
father. Thus the four young men in this play were successful in love. In
other words, they lost love's painful labors in their success.

In this context, Much Ado About Nothing is a play that is similar to the
other in losing love's labours, that is, in being successful in love.
That is why Hotson believed that Love's Labour's Won was Troilus and
Cressida since here was truly love's labour won since Troilus won love's
labour in perpetual misery.

I hold with Hotson on this issue that love's labour is something
difficult and not good and find his suggestion plausible if not
absolutely confirmed since there may indeed be a missing play that also
features buying perpetual painful effects of love.

David Basch

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Briggs <
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Date:           Friday, 22 Apr 2005 01:51:25 +0100
Subject: 16.0755 Love's Labours Won
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0755 Love's Labours Won

Melvyn R. Leventhal wrote:

 >Lukas Erne in his recently published Shakespeare as Literary
 >Dramatist, p. 82 note 18, (Cambridge University Press, 2003), makes a
 >persuasive case for LLW being " a popular title" for Much Ado About
 >Nothing. He reaches this conclusion after fully considering the
 >significance of the "bookseller's list" to the debate.

This news does nothing to assuage my prejudice against Lukas Erne in
particular, and the 'literary dramatist' hypothesis in general.  It is
hard to see how LLW could have been a more 'popular' title Than Much Ado
About Nothing - but in any case, that play is generally considered to
have not been completed when Palladis Tamia was published.  If the case
is persuasive in a footnote, can it not be summarised here?

John Briggs

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