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

Dr. White discusses the importance of charity as illustrated by the characters in Love’s Labour’s Lost, who show that love without charity is simply love of oneself and that intellect without charity is simply pedantry. The characters are all self-centered, and Dr. White points out that they fall in love with the women simply because they are women, not even being able to identify them except by the things they have given them. Dr. White examines the unkindness of their mocking and jokes, and notes that they do not at first learn their lesson – the play takes a somewhat bitter turn, and they are separated from the ladies and made to wait until they have become worthy suitors. Dr. White explains how, in this way, the play can be seen as a Lenten play, for the young men must do penance and undergo trials before they can come to joy, just as during Lent one must mortify oneself before one can be worthy to come to the great joy and celebration of Easter.

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