Love’s Labour's Lost

Play

Writers: William Shakespeare

Plot

ACT ONE

Ferdinand, the King of Navarre (a small, independent region in northern Spain) has issued an edict to his countrymen demanding them to eschew various pleasures (including women, food and sleep) and commit themselves to academic learning for a period of three years. Three of his Lords, Berowne, Longaville and Dumain, have agreed to sign a contract detailing the various regulations involved in this agreement. Longaville and Dumain sign, but Berowne expresses doubts. Namely, Berowne argues, book learning cannot wholly replace all that can be learned in the world, especially in the eyes of a woman. Additionally, he says, the King himself must break the article that promises to punish any man “seen to talk with a woman within the term of three years,” since the Princess of France is scheduled to meet with him about the surrender of Aquitaine, a province in southwest France. The King admits to having forgotten about this meeting, and changes the article. Berowne signs the document,

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