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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: April ::
Love's Labours Won
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0781  Sunday, 24 April 2005

[1]     From:   Todd Pettigrew <
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        Date:   Friday, 22 Apr 2005 13:20:52 -0300
        Subj:   RE: SHK 16.0769 Love's Labours Won

[2]     From:   Robin Hamilton <
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 >
        Date:   Saturday, 23 Apr 2005 08:45:52 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0769 Love's Labours Won


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Todd Pettigrew <
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Date:           Friday, 22 Apr 2005 13:20:52 -0300
Subject: 16.0769 Love's Labours Won
Comment:        RE: SHK 16.0769 Love's Labours Won

David Basch chides "persons on this list" who "fail to recognize" that
"to lose love's labour is to be successful in love."

Perhaps, but surely one might read losing one's labour as having worked
in vain. Compare the fate of Morocco in Merchant:

Had you been as wise as bold,
Young in limbs, in judgment old,
Your answer had not been inscroll'd:
Fare you well; your suit is cold.
Cold, indeed; and labour lost:
Then, farewell, heat, and welcome, frost!

and likewise 3Henry VI:

My queen and son are gone to France for aid;
And, as I hear, the great commanding Warwick
Is thither gone, to crave the French king's sister
To wife for Edward: if this news be true,
Poor queen and son, your labour is but lost;
For Warwick is a subtle orator,
And Lewis a prince soon won with moving words.

Not to belabour the point, but surely the title of LLL can be taken to
mean that the men labour to win the love of the ladies, but at the end
of the play they have nothing to show for it. Their labour is lost -- at
least for a while.

Todd Pettigrew
Cape Breton University

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Robin Hamilton <
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Date:           Saturday, 23 Apr 2005 08:45:52 +0100
Subject: 16.0769 Love's Labours Won
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0769 Love's Labours Won

David Basch <
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 >

 >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.

The title page of the 1598 Quarto has no apostrophes whatsoever-"Loues
labors lost"-while the second apostrophe in the F title is distinctly
ambiguous-at the least, it's less certain than the (clear) apostrophe on
"Love's".

Robin Hamilton

(Incidentally, if you *do* allow a second apostrophe in the F titling, a
better paraphrase would be, "The labour of love is the loss of what the
labour possessed", both (alleged) apostrophes denoting a possessive.

Unless you want to argue that (and perhaps this is possible-I'm prepared
to defer to finer judgements here) that 17th printing practice made a
distinction between the possessive apostrophe and the enclitic apostrophe.

RH)

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