Love's Labour's Lost
Love's Labour's Lost
by William Shakespeare
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Love's Labour's Lost Theme of Time

Time has a big role in Love's Labour's Lost. In the absence of the courtiers' birth parents, Nature and Time work together to teach their young charges. The lessons? Number One: timing matters. Number Two: there are things brought on by Time – like procreation and death – that no oath can control. The women know this, the men are learning it.

Questions About Time

  1. Why do the women make the men wait a year to woo them?
  2. Is the nobles' view of time different from the rustics'? In other words, is there a difference along socioeconomic lines in terms of perception of time?
  3. In how long a period of time does the play take place?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

The Princess's request for a year apart echoes Berowne's earlier argument for seasonal appropriateness. The play is governed by the principle that timing is important.

Oaths, rules, and societal conventions are no defense against time.

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