In Love’s Labor’s Lost, the King of Navarre and three of his men have pledged to study for three years, avoiding all contact with women. When the Princess of France arrives on a state visit, the king insists she and her ladies camp outside the court. Even so, each young man falls in love with one of the ladies.
Meanwhile, Don Adriano, a Spanish knight, reveals he has fallen for the dairy maid Jaquenetta. Berowne, one of the king’s companions, tasks rustic local Costard with delivering a letter to his love Rosaline, and Don Adriano sends Costard to deliver a love-letter to Jaquenetta. When Costard mixes up the letters, the school teacher and the local priest step in, sending Costard straight to the king to sort things out.
When the king’s men realize they are all in love, they throw off their earlier oaths. Through a variety of increasingly silly escapades, they set out to woo the women but the suspicious Princess and her ladies exchange identifying markers and confound the men. Before they can win their loves, word comes that the Princess’s father has died. The ladies reject all the marriage proposals as rash, and impose a year’s delay before welcoming any further wooing.
Source: Folger Shakespeare Library, adapted by Erin Bone Steele
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