Love's Labor's Lost minimized

Ferdinand is the young king of Navarre, a former kingdom in Spain.  He has plans to establish an academy and to require that his students adhere to a strict discipline. Students are to get along on three hours of sleep a night and one meal per day.  Oh yes, they are not to see or talk to any women for the three year term.

1. Ferdinand has talked three friends into enrolling in his academy, Longaville, Dumaine and Berowne.  Berowne has second thoughts, but doesn’t renege on his commitment.  Armado, a friend of the king’s, has Costard arrested for showing interest in Jaquenetta, a girlfriend to both of them.

2. The Princess of France, representing her father the king, arrives at the academy on serious business: France wants Aquitaine back and will pay Ferdinand to get it.  Ferdinand reads the French king’s written proposal, stumbling through it.  Boyet, the protector and adviser to the princess, lets her know Ferdinand is in love.  He can’t take his eyes off her.

3. Armado has Costard released.  Armado asks him to deliver a letter to Jaquenetta. Berowne, having fallen for Rosaline, one of the princess’ ladies, asks Costard to deliver his letter to Rosaline.  Costard delivers the letters, but each to the wrong lady.

4. Rosaline holds on to her misdirected letter. A friend suggests Jaquenetta return her misdirected letter to Navarre’s king.  The king and his three students quickly forget their commitment to the academy, each writing a love poem to one of the four ladies.  Each is seen and heard by another; each pleads guilty. They decide it’s best to pursue the ladies.

5. The men have given gifts and their poems to the ladies. The women share their stories and gifts with each other. Boyet learns that the men are approaching disguised as Muscovites, warning the women. The women disguise themselves with masks; each wearing another’s gift.  The men woo them, whispering love lines, each to the wrong woman. The women call the men’s bluff.  The men leave, embarrassed.  The men return.  The ladies let them know that they were on to their ruse. The princess learns that her father has died.  The men ask them to become their wives. The princess says they will mourn her father’s death for a year and that during that time the men must perform public service.  The princess lets the men know that if they perform their probation as directed, the women might accept their marriage offers.

Copyright © 2010 Minimized Shakespeare

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