Love's Labour's Lost

comedy play by William Shakespeare
Title page of the first quarto, 1598

Love's Labour's Lost is a comedy play by William Shakespeare which was written between 1588 and 1597.

The play contains a lot of wordplay and many characters are based off real kings and noblemen from around those years. This makes the play harder to understand for modern audiences, which is why it is less famous than most of Shakespeare's plays.[1][2] However, it has been performed more often since the 20th century.


Ferdinand, the King of Navarre, and three of his men meet together and talk about their intellectual plans. Their plans then go wrong when the Princess of France and three of her ladies arrive. The men find that they are in love with the ladies and cannot hide it.


The actual name of this play is not known. In the first quarto, it is called Loues labors [sic] lost.


  1. Woudhuysen, H.R. (2001). "Love's Labour's Lost". In Proudfoot, Richard; et al. (eds.). The Arden Shakespeare complete works (2 ed.). London: Thomson. p. 743. ISBN 978-1-903436-61-5.
  2. Halliwell-Phillipps, J.O. (1879). "Memoranda on Love's Labour's Lost". Cite journal requires |journal= (help)