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Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost – Part I

In this lecture, Dr. White examines Shakespeare’s early comedy Love’s Labour’s Lost, unique because it does not give the ending expected of a comedy. The significance of language in the play is explained, with Dr. White demonstrating its obsession with language’s power and noting that the art of speaking is practically disappearing in the modern world. The beginning conflict between intellectualism and love is explained, but it is shown that the young men are doing it for the wrong reasons, simply in order to gain fame. Dr. White shows the contrast between women and men in the play: the women are sensible and practical, while the men are idealistic and rather foolish. He touches on the innocence and wisdom of Shakespeare’s women, and how these qualities make them hard to depict on modern stages. Finally, he explains how certain characters like Don Adriano de Armado are overdrawn to show what the rest of them could become if they do not reform themselves.

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