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Shakespeare's Festive ComedyA Study of Dramatic Form and Its Relation to Social Custom$
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Cesar Lombardi Barber

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691149523

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691149523.001.0001

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The Folly of Wit and Masquerade in Love’s Labour’s Lost

The Folly of Wit and Masquerade in Love’s Labour’s Lost

(p.98) Five The Folly of Wit and Masquerade in Love’s Labour’s Lost
Shakespeare's Festive Comedy

C. L. Barber

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines Shakespeare's Love's Labour's Lost. It argues that the most striking thing about the play is how little Shakespeare used exciting action, story, or conflict; how far he went in the direction of making the piece a set exhibition of pastimes and games. The play is a strikingly fresh start, a more complete break with what he had been doing earlier in his career. The change goes with the fact that there are no theatrical or literary sources, so far as anyone has been able to discover, for what story there is in the play—Shakespeare, here and in A Midsummer Night's Dream, and nowhere else, makes up everything himself, because he is making up action on the model of games and pastimes.

Keywords:   Shakespeare, comedy, festive play, Love's Labour's Lost

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