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The best Shakespeare’s comedies surprised us by their liveliness and sparkling wit, but some of them combine in their comedy character various serious problems. However, under the cover of this merriment, being the reflection of characteristic for Renaissance blitheness, Shakespeare puts large problems and offers deep ideas. In one of his earliest comedies with the title Love’s Labor Lost is described, as king of Navarre and a few his close people decide to renounce from love and submerge in the study of philosophy. But arrival of the French princess with her maids of honor tips over their plans, because all of them fall in love in arriving young ladies. In acknowledgement of these words we should quote:
“We have receiv’d your letters, full of love;
Your favours, the ambassadors of love;
And, in our maiden council, rated them
At courtship, pleasant jest, and courtesy,
As bombast and as lining to the time…”
If to be short we see that exactly in this play Shakespeare criticizes the old, scholastic understanding of wisdom as something dissociated from the real life. At the same time he ridicules fashionable in his time euphuistic style. Shakespeare gave a contribution to this florid style the echoes of which are heard as early as his tragedies, but from the beginning Shakespeare tries to overcome it in the name of healthy naturalness and simplicity. At the end of play one of the courts, Berowne, renounces from verbal tinsel and swears from now on to be in voicing feel simple and truthful. In other monologue that Berowne unseals all absurdity of ascetic waiver of love for the sake of philosophy, declaring that love is the best stimulus to development of mind. Thus, summarizing this short play’s review I have an aim to do a close reading in the play Love’s Labor Lost by Shakespeare and analyze its the main interesting moments in the body of this paper.
Love’s Labour Lost has historical roots because main events of those times were described in it. The analysis of subject of the play allows approximately defining time of its origin. Unlike other plays of Shakespeare a comedy is not treatment of some prepared plot of a story. If to be honest there is no plot, in essence, in this play. As for a background which an action is developed on, we see that it is winnowed by historical facts and characters. The scene of action is Navarre (on the south of France), a hero of it is never existing king Ferdinand, in whom we easily recognize popular in the epoch of Shakespeare Henry, entering in 1589 on the French throne under the name of Henry IV. Analyzing the comedy it is understandable that on the construction and style Love’s Labour Lost is, legalistically reasoning, by a typical play court-aristocratic theater. It approaches that genre of gallantly-love, allegoric or pastoral presentations which was named in England “masks” and were the favorite decoration of court festivals. All last act of the comedy with its love duels provide us in the atmosphere of court masquerade presentations.
Also and a basic situation of comedy is creation of young well-educated grandees of philosophical “academy” with complete suspension from worldly anxieties and cardiac passions a group leads away us in that environment. Italy of late Renaissance was full of such “academies”, where debated and expounded in verses and prose every family morally-philosophical question, problem of love, proper vital behavior.
There are many interesting moments were described in this comedy and I’d like to pay attention on them with help of comedy’s quotations. For example it is necessary to note that such qualities like cunning and cleverness have a place in main characters’ life:
“KING: 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…(1.1.39)”
It shows us that characters’ behavior was a result of special actions and when even people fall in love they become more sharp-witted with one aim to achieve their aim.
For example, we know that the present is fraught future and burdened past. And at the end of the way Shakespeare understood that nobody understood already after him: connection of times – it, as he said is a simple Truth. The next point is time and its importance, because we can change many things in our life but we will never stop the time, because it is really impossible and people should think about their actions all the time and be sure that they live in a right way:
“KING: When, spite of cormorant devouring Time,
Th’ endeavour of this present breath may buy
That honour which shall bate his scythe’s keen edge,
And make us heirs of all eternity. (1.1.1)”
An idle talk is the most dangerous passion exactly because any man, let unconsciously on your own and only for itself, all the same always searches some explanation, acquittal the passions and acts. And to any of such human acquittal is penny price. Shakespeare show in his play that after words people should use actions:
“PRINCESS OF FRANCE. A time, methinks, too short
To make a world-without-end bargain in.
No, no, my lord, your Grace is perjur’d much,
Full of dear guiltiness; and therefore this,
If for my love, as there is no such cause,
You will do aught – this shall you do for me…”