Study Guide

Love's Labour's Lost Women and Femininity

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Women and Femininity

The women of Love's Labour's Lost are miles—no, light-years—ahead of the men. They seem older and more sophisticated. They know what's up. They're not confused little girls.

The play ends with each man running after the woman he loves, and each woman saying, "Come back in a year. No need to rush this. Time will tell." Led by the graceful, almost stoic Princess of France, the women present a feminine front that is unified, classy, and totally smart.

Questions About Women and Femininity

  1. Does Jaquenetta introduce a femininity contrary or complementary to that represented by the Princess?
  2. Who wins the battle of the sexes in this play? How does the outcome compare with other Shakespeare plays concerned with male/female relations?
  3. Are the women actually in love with the lords of Love's Labour's Lost? What makes you say yes or no?

Chew on This

The Princess represents the measured, practical monarch Shakespeare might have seen in Queen Elizabeth.

Shakespeare gave Love's Labour's Lost a surprisingly feminist ending.

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