Study Guide

Love's Labour's Lost Time

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Time plays a big role in Love's Labour's Lost—and not just because it keeps on slipping into the future. 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 sex and death (and taxes?)—that no oath can control. The women know this already and the dudes are catching on.

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

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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