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Love's Labour's Lost
Love's Labour's Lost
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Character Roles (Protagonist, Antagonist...)
Tools of Characterization
King of Navarre
Princess of France
Table of Contents
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Love's Labour's Lost Characters
Meet the Cast
King of Navarre
Since the young King is so keen on his no-girls-allowed secret society ("the Academe"), let's analyze him in terms of a boy's club. The King is the Alpha. He's a natural leader; the other guys do w...
Princess of France
From the way she handles things, we have the sense that the Princess might be a better ruler than the King of Navarre. She is straightforward and immune to flattery, and yet we're sure her sense of...
Berowne is the second in command, but some people think he's way more interesting than the King. We wouldn't hold it against you if you told us you believed him to be the protagonist of the entire...
Rosaline is the Princess's wingman (just like Berowne is the King's wingman). We probably wouldn't fight you if you were to argue that Rosaline is one of the play's protagonists. Like Berowne, she'...
Longaville is a nobleman in the King of Navarre's pack who eventually falls for the lovely Maria (of the Princess's pack). He wants to be Berowne. He's witty, too, as Maria recalls meeting him at a...
Dumain is the last of a pretty distinguished crew and falls for Katherine (of the Princess's pack) According to Katharine, he's both good-looking and intelligent. He holds his own with the others....
It's a little hard to pin Katharine down, because some editions attribute more wordplay to her than others. Berowne's first banter session with a woman is either with Katharine or Rosaline –...
Maria is the least fully realized of the Princess's ladies-in-waiting, and she falls in love with Longaville. She pipes up with witticisms here and there, and, like Katharine, only makes her man wait.
Boyet is a fascinating creation. Shakespeare scholar Harold Bloom describes him as "the play's prophet" (source: Bloom, Harold. Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human). What do you think Mr. Bloom...
Armado is like one of the courtiers (the King, Berowne, Dumain, and Longaville) seen in a funhouse mirror. Like them, he's full of himself, bragging to Holofernes that he and the King are close. Li...
Marcade carries the message from France that the King is dead, hastening the Princess's return. He is brief, arriving only at the end of the play, but he is nonetheless important. Like a bell that...
Moth is Armado's feisty page. He loves teasing and criticizing his master, and reminds us of a fly buzzing around a buffalo – tiny but powerful in his capacity to irritate. Perpetually irreve...
"Costard the Swain" is first mentioned as a potential source of amusement for the newly monkish young men. As promised, his misunderstandings and pratfalls provide a lot of laughs, as does his misu...
Holofernes, the schoolteacher, may have been an afterthought in the writing of the play. Along with Nathaniel, he doesn't exist until the fourth act. With his verbal spouting, a soup made of Latin,...
Nathaniel is a curate, or village preacher. As a man of the cloth, he is educated enough to speak Latin with Holofernes. But he's definitely subservient in that relationship, lapping up every long-...
Dull is the village constable, and true to his name. In the play, he mainly functions as an escort to the other rustic characters. He's also good for a couple laughs stemming from his misuse of words.
Jaquenetta attracts the romantic attention of both Costard and Armado. The letter meant for Rosaline finds its way to her, propelling Berowne's exposure as a lover. Jaquenetta provides a contrast t...
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