Chapter

Humility: <i>Love’s Labour’s Lost</i>

Andy Mousley

in Re-Humanising Shakespeare

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print June 2007 | ISBN: 9780748623181
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748652211 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748623181.003.0008
Humility: Love’s Labour’s Lost

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This chapter explores in some depth the understanding expressed in Shakespearean comedy of what it is to live humbly, with a sense of one's own folly. It specifically takes up the theme of levelling and directs it towards the matter of living humbly, with a healthy sense of one's own folly, and also reports the connections between humility, folly and the conditions for being taken seriously as a lover. ‘Comedy’ in Love's Labour's Lost is social comedy, its target being Renaissance rhetoric and the exhilarating possibilities and dangers inherent in the encouragement of rhetorical fluency. The characters illustrate the direction in which the rhetorical culture of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries could go. The ending of this play is where women lay down conditions for being taking seriously a lover.

Keywords: humility; Love's Labour's Lost; Shakespearean comedy; folly; lover; rhetorical culture; social comedy

Chapter.  5616 words. 

Subjects: Shakespeare Studies and Criticism

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