Shakespeare Videos: Complete List Shakespeare
Prepared by Michael J. Cummings...© 2003, 2008, 2011
Type of Play and First Performance
Lost is a stage play in the form of a romance comedy. Like other
plays that Shakespeare wrote early in his career, it tends to focus
more on wordplay and wit than on character development.
Composition and Publication
Written: Probably 1594, just before Shakespeare's thirtieth
birthday. However, it could have been written a few years earlier or
even a few years later.
Published: 1598 in a quarto edition; 1623 as part of the First
Folio, the first authorized collection of Shakespeare's plays. The 1623
version was based on the 1598 quarto edition.
that Love's Labour's Lost was probably first performed in
December of 1597 at the court of Queen Elizabeth I, although G.B.
Harrison notes that the New Cambridge Shakespeare says: "In our
opinion its first performance had Christmas 1593 for date and for place
some great private house, possibly the Earl of Southampton's" (Shakespeare:
Complete Works. New York: Harcourt, 1952. page 395).
.......If the play was performed before the queen in
1597, an intriguing question for scholars might center on how the queen
responded to the performance. When she viewed it, she would have been
sixty-four and, of course, still a spinster. She had had many
opportunities to marry—for love or for
political advantage—but seized upon none
of them. She died in 1603, still unmarried. All of love's labours
showered on her—and all of love's labours
she showered on others—were lost.
have based his plot on ideas in L'Académie Françoise
(1577), by Pierre de la Primaudaye, about a society of scholars. He may
also have drawn upon Endimion, by John Lyly (1554-1606).
.......The action takes place in Navarre (Spanish, Navarra),
a region in northern Spain and southern France
(département of Basses-Pyrénées). At one time,
Navarre was a kingdom. In 1515, Spain annexed most of Navarre; in 1589,
France annexed the rest of the kingdom. The capital of present-day
Navarre is Pamplona, on the Arga River, founded by the ancient Roman
general Pompey the Great. The area was later occupied by Visigoths and
Moors. Pamplona is famous for the Festival of St. Fermin (July 6-14),
in which a chief attraction is encierro—the running of bulls each morning through the streets
of the city.
King Ferdinand, the Princess of France. (They dictate and control the
destinies of the other lovers)
The immaturity of the men, the wise reluctance of the women to believe
in love at first sight
King of Navarre, who woos the princess of France.
Princess of France:
woman who captures the heart of the King of Navarre but tells
him at the end of the play that he must spend a year in a hermitage
before she will marry him.
Lord at Ferdinand's court. Berowne loves Rosaline.
Lady attending the Princess of France.
Lord at Ferdinand's court. Longaville loves Maria.
attending the Princess of France.
at Ferdinand's court. Dumain loves Katherine.
Lady attending the Princess of France.
Don Adriano de
Armado: Pretentious and long-winded knight who loves Jaquenetta
with a passion. He appears to symbolize King Philip II of Spain and the
Spanish Armada (hence the name de Armado). See
Comely country wench loved by Don Adriano.
attending the princess of France.
Moth: Page to
French lord who brings sad news to the Princess of France.
who accompanies the Princess of France on a deer hunt.
J. Cummings...© 2003
........King Ferdinand of Navarre
and three of his lords—Dumain, Longaville,
and Berowne (also called Biron in some editions of Shakespeare’s plays)—decide to abandon the pleasures of the world for three
years to pursue knowledge and keep company only with books in order to
gain everlasting fame as scholars. The king says, “Our court shall be a
little Academe / Still and contemplative in living art” (1.2.14-15).
Ferdinand has drawn up a contract outlining the conditions under which
they are to live. Longaville is the first to sign it, saying,
The mind shall banquet, though the body pine:
........Dumain then signs the
contract, declaring “To love, to wealth, to pomp, I pine and die”
(1.1.33). Berowne, however, balks at the strictness of the contract.
First, it forbids all discourse with women. Next, it requires the four
men to fast one day a week and eat but one meal on the other days.
Finally, it dictates that they may sleep no more than three hours a
night. But after the king tells Berowne their study time will yield
hidden pearls of knowledge, Berowne, too, signs the contract.
Fat paunches have lean pates, and dainty bits
Make rich the ribs, but bankrupt quite the wits. (1.1.27-29)
........One of its conditions—the prohibition of women—applies
man in the service of the king, not just to the king and his
three fellow scholars. The only diversion they will have from their
studies will be provided by the king’s clown, Costard, and a Spanish
knight, Don Adriano de Armado. The king says Don Adriano knows many
entertaining tales and has a way with words. In truth, though, Don
Adriano is little more than a pompous buffoon who cannot even out-duel
his own page, Moth, in a battle of wits (1.2.3-69). (Don Adriano
appears to symbolize King Philip of Spain and his vaunted Armada, which
was defeated by the English in 1588. Through Adriano, Shakespeare pokes
fun at Philip.)
........After the contract takes
effect, Costard violates it by wooing a comely maid named Jaquenetta.
Don Adriano, who has seen them together on the grounds of the king’s
estate, tattles on Costard in a letter to the king. Adriano isn’t just
trying to be a good citizen; he’s trying to save Jaquenetta for
himself. He loves her with a passion that has driven him to poetry.
Costard is taken into custody and sentenced to a diet of bran and water
for one week.
........Soon thereafter, the
beautiful Princess of France arrives at Navarre on a diplomatic mission
in which she and the king are to discuss a financial matter—specifically, whether France owes Navarre money, as
the king contends, or whether France has already paid the debt, as the
princess contends. In her entourage are three lovely attendants:
Rosaline, Maria, and Katherine. Because the contract among the men
forbids interaction with women, the king lodges the ladies in a tent in
the park of his palace estate. However, once the king sees the
princess, he immediately falls for her. At the same time, his three
companions also take a tumble: Berowne for Rosaline, Dumain for
Katherine, and Longaville for Maria. Love now usurps the throne of
Navarre. Scholarly pursuit has become an ugly hag with a wart on her
Don Adriano frees Costard and gives him three farthings to deliver a
love letter and a poem to Jaquenetta. Berowne gets in on the act,
giving Costard a letter and poem for Rosaline. Costard, who is small of
brain, delivers Jaquenetta’s letter to the princess, telling her it is
for Rosaline; Rosaline’s letter goes to Jaquenetta. The princess, who
is hunting deer with the other ladies, tells her male attendant, Boyet,
to open the letter. Before he does, he notices it is addressed to
Jaquenetta, not Rosaline. The princess then tells him to read it
anyway. It praises Jaquenetta with bloated prose and imagery, as well
as Latin phrases, and the princess mocks the author, Don Adriano. When
Jaquenetta, who is illiterate, receives the letter to Rosaline, she
takes it to Sir Nathaniel, the local parson, to read it for her. Sir
Nathaniel is in the company of Holofernes, a know-it-all schoolteacher.
When Sir Nathaniel reads the letter, Holofernes realizes it is not
meant for Jaquenetta and tells her to take it to the king. After all,
such a brazen love poem violates the first rule of the contract: that
no man should communicate with women.
........But, by this time, the
king and his three lords are all writing and reciting love poetry about
their ladies fair. When the king and the three lords overhear one
another reciting the poetry, they chide one another in turn for
breaking their vow. However, Berowne concludes that it was wrong to
take the vow, for it was against nature. Longaville then proposes that
they woo the women, and the king replies that they should not only woo
but also win them.
........The four men send the
ladies gifts and poems that heap lavish praises upon them. The princess
and her attendants think the attentions they are receiving are silly
and excessive, and they make sport of the poetry. The princess, highly
intelligent as well as beautiful, observes, “We are wise girls to mock
our lovers so” (5.2.62).
........Boyet interrupts the
conversation to report that he overhead the men planning a mischief:
They will come to the ladies disguised as Russians with a page who has
mastered a Russian accent. The princess then decides that the ladies
should wear disguises of their own to confuse the men. Their scheme
succeeds, for everybody ends up with the wrong partner. When the men
later return without their disguises, the women tease them about the
foolish Russians who had been there earlier, then reveal that they knew
of the men’s masquerade all along.
........More merriment takes
place, including the Pageant of the Nine Worthies,1 starring Costard, Sir Nathaniel, Holofernes, Armado, and
others. During the presentation, the nobles heckle the actors: Costard,
portraying Pompey the Great; Nathaniel, portraying Alexander the Great;
Moth, portraying baby Hercules killing the serpents in his crib;
Holofernes, portraying Judas Maccabeus; and Don Adriano, portraying the
Trojan hero Hector. Costard ad-libs in one scene, revealing that
Jaquenetta “is quick” (5.2. 680) by Don Adriano—that is, pregnant. Costard and Armado
then begin fighting over Jaquenetta.
........Just as a duel appears
imminent, the princess receives news from France from a messenger,
Mercadé, that her father, the king, has died. A pall of silence
falls over the gathering. The princess then announces that she and her
entourage must return to France. Before the ladies quit Ferdinand’s
court, the men all make a last-minute plea for the hands of their loves
and ask them to remain at court. The princess—aware that the men have broken a vow and concerned
that their love might be mere infatuation—says
king and his friends have been pleasant company, providing the
ladies much merriment. However, she says that she and the other women
will not entertain proposals until after the men discipline themselves
in worthy pursuits lasting fully a year.
........Ferdinand is to spend the
year in a hermitage. Berowne, who has always been quick to engage in
jest and laugh at others, must make the rounds of hospitals, there to
provoke patients to laughter. Dumain and Longaville must spend the year
tempering their characters, becoming thoughtful and mature. Don Adriano
de Armado makes a promise of his own, telling King Ferdinand , “I have
vowed to Jaquenetta to hold the plough for her sweet love three years”
(5.2.870). Holofernes, Sir Nathaniel, Costard, and the other actors
from the pageant then present a song about spring and winter. Don
Adriano speaks the last line of the play, “You that way—we this way.”
.......The central conflicts in the play are
(1) the struggle of Ferdinand, Berowne, Longaville, and Dumaine to
remain faithful (or to appear to remain faithful) to their vow to give
up women for three years while they pursue an austere life of learning;
(2) the resistance of the women to commit to a relationship with the
men after the men renounce their vow.
.......The tone is generally lighthearted and
.......The climax of a play or another narrative work, such
as a short story or a novel, can be defined as (1) the turning point at
which the conflict begins to resolve itself for better or worse, or as
(2) the final and most exciting event in a series of events. The climax
of Love's Labour's Lost occurs, according to both definitions,
in Act V, Scene II, when the four women reject the love suits of the
four men. Up to this moment, the women have regarded the antics of the
king and his comrades as amusing flirtations and the king's realm as
almost a chimerical world, although the men may have thought otherwise.
Then Mercadé's announcement that the father of the princess has
died jolt's everyone back to reality. When the princess decides to
leave immediately for France and the men importune her and the other
ladies to remain, pledging their love, the princess recites the
..............We have received your
letters full of love;
..............Your favours, the
ambassadors of love;
..............And, in our maiden
council, rated them
..............At courtship, pleasant
jest and courtesy,
..............As bombast and as lining
to the time:
..............But more devout2 than this in our respects
..............Have we not been; and
therefore met your loves
..............In their own fashion,
like a merriment. (5.2.761-794)
would call their letters and their favours "bombast" and their
wooing mere "merriment" sobers the men, who have been acting with the
immaturity of college students on a spring break, and prepares them for
the year-long test they must undergo to prove that their love is
must be tested in the crucible of time. The princess and her
company of ladies find their wooers entertaining, but they do not
commit to a relationship with them immediately. Wisely, they realize
that true love does not strike like lightning but instead develops over
time, like a rose growing from seed to full bloom. At the end of the
play, they tell the men that they must wait and undergo tests to prove
that their love is not mere infatuation. In this respect, these ladies
contrast with other Shakespeare heroines, such as Rosalind (As You
Like It), Juliet (Romeo and Juliet) and Hero (Much Ado
About Nothing), who all fall in love at first sight and never doubt
their feelings or the intentions of their lovers.
The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.
This paraphrase from the Bible (Matthew 26: 40-41) aptly sums up the
state of mind of the king and his three compatriots. For a moment, they
become idealistic scholars who renounce the world and its pleasures.
But the princess and her companions bring them down from the rarefied
clime of academe to the sensual world of perfume and feminine
learning cannot vie with love of a man for a woman. This theme
is a variation of the second theme. King Ferdinand and his
compatriots decide to isolate themselves for three years to study great
books and great ideas, vowing that they will keep no company with
women during this period. However, when beautiful women arrive on a
diplomatic mission, the men immediately forswear their oaths.
Philip II is a pompous bumbler. In 1588, Philip attacked England
with his supposedly invincible Armada but was soundly defeated by a
smaller English force. In the play, Philip and his Armada—and all of
the high hopes for it—become Don Adriano de Armado (Armada), a
pretentious aristocrat who is thwarted in his verbal forays by his
lowly page, Moth, and in his wooing by the illiterate Jaquenetta, a
of Events, or Coup de Théâtre
.......Mercadé’s announcement that the
father of the princess has died presents the main characters—and the
audience—with a dramatic, unexpected turn of events. The announcement
curtails the jollity of the little courtship games played by Ferdinand
and his comrades with the princess and her ladies. It also enables
Shakespeare to present an unconventional ending in which boy does not
get girl. However, Shakespeare leaves room for hope that the men and
their ladies will eventually reunite. A startling turn of events in a
play, when successful, is called a coup de théâtre.
duh tay AH truh). This French term is also used to refer to an
exceptional play or performance.
A maid of
grace and complete majesty—
About surrender up
decrepit, sick, and bed-rid father:
article is made in vain, 136
that focus mainly on romance generally end with marriages.
Examples are As You Like It, Much Ado About Nothing, and A
Midsummer Night's Dream. But Love's Labour's Lost ends with
the parting of four couples; they hope to reunite in a year, but there
is no guarantee that they will become husbands and wives.
Love's Labour's Won
Strong evidence indicates that
Shakespeare wrote a play entitled Love's Labour's Won, perhaps
a sequel to Love's Labour's Lost. However, no manuscript of the
play, written or printed, has ever been found. The evidence consists of
two published reports. First was an an entry in a 1598 book—Palladis Tamia, Wits Treasury—by Francis Meres (1565-1647). The book, which provides
valuable information about Elizabethan writers and assesses the quality
of their work, lists Shakespeare as the author of a play called Loves
Wonne. Second was a reference to the play, crediting
Shakespeare as its author, in a verified booksellers' list published in
1603. There is little doubt today that the play was indeed a
Shakespeare work. However, there is conjecture that Love's Labour's
Won is an alternate title of a surviving romance play, such as Much
About Nothing. Whether Love's Labour's Won was indeed a
lost play not listed in the canon of accepted Shakespeare plays is a
question that cannot be resolved unless further evidence surfaces.
Love’s Labour’s Lost early in his career (about 1594),
when he was concerned more with words than with characters.
Consequently, the play abounds in repartee, epigrams, rhyming lines,
and other devices, including the following:
Figures of Speech
A pun is a play
on words. In the following passage, the princess prepares to hunt deer
at the edge of a wood while a forester tells her where to position
herself to make the “fairest shoot,” a phrase which the princess
repeats playfully in reference to herself.
upon the edge of yonder coppice;3
A stand where you
may make the fairest shoot
thank my beauty, I am fair that shoot,
And thereupon thou
speak’st the fairest shoot. (4.1.11-14)
.......Stichomythia (stik uh MITH e uh)
consists of brief, alternating lines of dialogue spoken in rapid-fire
succession. The following exchange is an example:
BIRON...Did not I dance with you in Brabant4 once?
ROSALINE...Did not I dance with you in Brabant once?
BIRON...I know you did.
ROSALINE...How needless was it then to ask the question!
BIRON...You must not be so quick.
ROSALINE...'Tis 'long of you that spur me with such
BIRON...Your wit's too hot, it speeds too fast,
ROSALINE...Not till it leave the rider in the mire.
BIRON...What time o' day?
ROSALINE...The hour that fools should ask.
BIRON...Now fair befall your mask!
ROSALINE...Fair fall the face it covers!
BIRON...And send you many lovers!
ROSALINE...Amen, so you be none.
BIRON...Nay, then will I be gone. (2.1.114-128)
Characters Speaking in Rhyme
her name in the cap?5
Rosaline, by good hap.
she wedded or no?
To her will, sir, or so.
are welcome, sir: adieu.
Farewell to me, sir, and welcome to you. (2.1.215-220)
Character (Princess) Speaking in Rhyme
None are so
surely caught, when they are catch’d,
As wit turn’d
fool: folly, in wisdom hatch’d,
warrant and the help of school
And wit’s own
grace to grace a learned fool. (5.2.73-76)
When daisies pied6 and violets blue
And lady-smocks all silver-white
of yellow hue7
Do paint the
meadows with delight,
The cuckoo then,
on every tree,
Mocks married men;
for thus sings he,
Cuckoo, cuckoo: O
word of fear,
Unpleasing to a
married ear! (5.2.876)
.......Following are examples of figures of
speech in the play. For definitions of figures of speech, see Literary Terms.
Grace us in the disgrace of death.
Your wit’s too hot, it speeds too
Fair fall the face
And to her white hand
see thou do commend
This seal’d-up counsel.
[Gives him a shilling.] There’s thy guerdon:
This wimpled, whining,
purblind, wayward boy
learned in a lady’s eyes,
Lives not alone
in the brain.
Sir, it is the king’s most sweet
pleasure and affection to congratulate the princess
pavilion in the posteriors of this day, which the
multitude call the
But there are
other strict observances;
As, not to see a
woman in that term,
Which I hope well is not enrolled there:
And one day in a
week to touch no food,
And but one meal
on every day beside;
The which I hope is not enrolled there:
And then, to sleep
but three hours in the night, 44
And not be seen to
wink of all the day,—
When I was wont to
think no harm all night
And make a dark
night too of half the day,—
Which I hope well is not enrolled there.
How will he scorn! how
he spend his wit!
How will he triumph, leap and laugh at it!
hermit, five-score winters worn,
Might shake off
fifty, looking in her eye.
varnish age, as if new-born,
And gives the
crutch the cradle’s infancy. (4.3.188-191)
love! I, that have been love’s whip. (3.1.118)
renouncing love, Berowne falls in love.
have lean pates, and dainty bits
Make rich the
ribs, but bankrupt quite the wits. (1.1.28-29)
Paunches (stomachs) represent the entire body.
Comparison of eating to financial activities
He draweth out
the thread of his verbosity finer than the staple of his argument.
a metaphor comparing the course or direction to a thread and a simile
comparing the thread to the staple (substance)
argument. Here, than serves the same function as like or as, words
usually used in a simile between the things compared.
prosperity lies in the ear
Of him that hears
it, never in the tongue
Of him that makes
Rosaline uses a
metaphor comparing a jest to a human being. (Only a human can prosper).
This comparison is also a personification.
metaphor compares ear to perception or interpretation, and a third
metaphor compares tongue to wit or cleverness.
to me were oaks, to thee like osiers bow’d. (4.2.57)
comparison of thoughts to oaks
comparison of oaks to bent osiers (willlow branches used in wickerwork)
senior-junior, giant-dwarf (3.1.124)
Dark needs no
candles now, for dark is light. (4.3.215)
Berowne is like
an envious sneaping frost,
That bites the
first-born infants of the spring. (1.1.104-105)
compares Berowne to a biting frost.
mistress, were as slender as my wit. (4.1.51)
compares the slenderness of the princess's waist to that of his wit.
.......Following are examples of allusions in
(5.1.641): Greek soldier who was the fiercest and deadliest soldier in
the Trojan War. He slew Hector, the greatest of the Trojan warriors.
Achilles was said to have only one vulnerable spot on his body, his
heel. A poisoned Trojan arrow found that spot and killed Achilles. Over
the centuries, the term Achilles' heel has come to mean a person's
greatest weakness (physical or mental).
Roman name for Aias, a gigantic Greek warrior who fought in the Trojan
War. After the death of Achilles—the greatest of the Greek soldiers who
fought at Troy—he goes mad with rage after the Greek generals Agamemnon
and Menelaus award Achilles' armor to Odysseus instead of to him. In
his madness, he kills sheep in the belief that they are Odysseus, Agamemnon, and Menelaus, then falls on his
(4.3.290): Allusion to Apollo as the god of music. In Greek and Roman
mythology, Apollo was also the god of poetry, medicine, prophecy, and
(3.1.143): In Greek mythology, a giant with one hundred eyes who served
as a spy for Hera (Roman name, Juno), queen of the
Olympian gods and wife of Zeus (Jupiter). The
messenger god, Hermes (Roman name, Mercury)
killed him. Hera removed his eyes and placed them on the tail of the
(4.3.286): In ancient mythology, the Roman name for Dionysus, the Greek
god of wine and vegetation and a patron of the
Cophetua (4.1.64): Legendary African king who
renounced women but later fell in love with a beggar girl named
(4.2.20): In the Old Testament of the Bible (Genesis 4), the son of
Adam. He was killed by his brother, Abel.
ancient mythology, the Roman name for Eros, the Greek god of love.
Hercules (1.2.42): In ancient mythology, the Roman
name of the Greek hero Heracles. He was the son of Zeus and Alcmene, a
mortal. Hercules was famous for his his completion of twelve seemingly
impossible labors, including slaying a lion and killing a nine-headed
(4.3.288): In Greek mythology, nymphs who guard a tree that bears
golden apples. The earth goddess Gaea had given the tree to Hera (Roman
name: Juno) as a wedding gift when she married Zeus (Roman name:
Jupiter), king of the gods. The Greek poet Hesiod said there were three
Hesperides: Aegle, Erytheia, and Hespere. The garden in which the tree
grew also was known as the Hersperides.
(4.2.53): Roman poet and satirist. The full name of Horace (65-8 BC)
was Quintus Horatius Flaccus.
(5.1.45): Successor of Moses in the Old Testament (Book of Joshua).
After Moses died, he led the Israelites in the conquest of Canaan, the
(4.2.56): In Roman mythology, Jupiter, the king of the gods. Jupiter is
the name the Romans adopted for Zeus, king of the Greek gods.
(5.1.45): Jewish military leader who defended Judea against invading
armies of the Seleucid Empire and restored the Jewish temple in
Jerusalem in 165 BC after the Seleucids attempted to establish paganism
there. The Jewish festival of Hanukkah celebrates the restoration of
(4.3.58): Wife of Jove.
(4.1.103): Pepin III (714-768), king of France from 751 to 768. He was
the father of Charlemagne.
(4.1.66): Lion killed by Hercules.
(5.1.43): See Notes.
(4.2.57): Ovid (43 BC-AD 17), Roman poet whose most famous work was Metamorphoses.
full name was Publius Ovidius Naso.
(4.2.23): Another name for Artemis, the virginal moon goddess and
goddess of the hunt in Greek mythology.
Pompey the Great
(5.1.45): Statesman and military leader of ancient Rome. Pompey (106-48
BC) joined with Julius Caesar and Marcus Licinius Crassus to form a
ruling triumvirate of Rome. After he and Caesar became enemies, civil
war broke out in 49 BC; Caesar prevailed, and Pompey was killed in 48
(5.1.9): Latin grammarian who wrote Institutiones grammaticae
("Grammatical Foundations") in the sixth century AD. It was a standard
Latin text in the Middle Ages.
(4.3.251): In Greek mythology, the Titan god Prometheus was a
benefactor of man. He stole fire from heaven and gave it to humankind.
(1.2.44): In the Old Testament of the Bible, an Israelite judge and
warrior famous for his great strength. He fell in love with a beautiful
woman, Delilah, who conspired with the Philistines against him. When
she beguiled him into revealing the source of his strength, his hair,
she trimmed it while he was sleeping. The Philistines captured and
enslaved him. When his strength eventually returned, he brought down a
temple to the god Dagon, killing assembled Philistines and himself.
(1.2.96): A tenth-century-BC king of Israel famed for his wisdom and
for his construction of the first temple in Jerusalem. He was the son
of King David and Bathsheba. His life is recounted in the Old Testament
(Chronicles, Kings, and 2 Samuel).
Veni, vidi, vici
(4.1.64): Latin for I came, I saw, I conquered. Julius Caesar
was said to have sent this message to the Roman Senate to report his
victory in 67 BC over Pharnaces II, king of Pontus (in present-day
(1.2.265): In ancient mythology, the Roman name for Aphrodite, the
Greek goddess of love.
(4.1.64): Penelophon. (See Cophetua.)
Study Questions and Essay Topics
1...Which character in the play is the most
admirable? Which is the least admirable?
2...What incidents in the play resemble those in
a modern situation comedy?
3...Who controls the events in the play, the men
or the women?
4...Write an essay analyzing the lyrical quality
of the dialogue in Love’s Labour’s Lost.
5...Does the ending of the play satisfy you? Or
would you prefer an ending in which the wooers marry? Explain your
1...Nine worthies: Nine heroes whom
writers in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance lionized as exemplary
leaders for their military exploits and chivalric qualities. They
include three pagan heroes: the mythological Trojan warrior Hector, the
Macedonian general Alexander the Great, and the Roman general Julius
Caesar; three Old Testament Jewish heroes: Joshua, David, and Judas
Maccabaeus (also spelled Maccabeus); and three European Christian
heroes: the legendary King Arthur, Charlemagne, and Godfrey of
2...devout: Sincere, serious.
3...coppice: Thicket; grove of small trees
4...Brabant: Duchy in Europe from 1190 to
1830. The area is now part of Belgium and The Netherlands.
5...in the cap: Rosalind is wearing a hat.
7...lady-smocks, cuckoo buds: Flowers.
8...cuckoo: The female European cuckoo
lays eggs in the nests of other species of birds, one egg here and one
egg there. This strange habit came to be associated with human females
who are unfaithful to their husbands. The word cuckold was coined
before Shakespeare’s time to refer to the husband of an adulteress