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Love's Labour's Lost

Love's Labour's Lost


by William Shakespeare

Analysis: Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

Christopher Booker is a scholar who wrote that every story falls into one of seven basic plot structures: Overcoming the Monster, Rags to Riches, the Quest, Voyage and Return, Comedy, Tragedy, and Rebirth. Shmoop explores which of these structures fits this story like Cinderella’s slipper.

Plot Type : Comedy

Shadow of Confusion

The noblemen of Navarre take a life-denying vow in favor of hardcore learning.

These lords want to reject everything that gives pleasure: food, women and sleep. In their youthful eagerness to understand things, they set up artificial divides – men against women; learning against worldly experience; the intellect against nature. As soon as the women of France enter, maintaining those divides gets more complicated.

Obscured Identities

The men hide their love, then accept it and woo the women, who reject them.

Embarrassed by what they perceive as weakness, the men try to keep their crushes secret from each other. They overcome the hurdle of admitting their love; now they want to act on it. It's not so easy. The women, half in fun but also in self-protection, obscure their identities when the men come in costume to woo them.

Consciousness of the Truth

The men and women pair off; the men promise patience and fidelity.

While the plot doesn't resolve with a classic pairing off in the sense of marriage, the women do unmask and address the appropriate partner. Having attained some balance of knowledge and desire through love, the men are equipped to handle the women's call for patience.

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