To begin the introduction, the editor discusses the link between Love's Labour's Lost and the writings of Sir Philip Sidney, the simple plot and its inconclusive ending, the relationship in the play between words and the things which they signify, and the play's concern with the court. The following sections of the introduction examine the play's style, from the structural devices and wordplay typical of Shakespeare to the repetition and allusion that are particularly abundant in this comedy; and the play's structure, with focus on the play's last scene, which is the longest in Shakespeare's work. The editor finally addresses the play's dating and possible sources, its early history and performance, and the subsequent reactions to and criticism of the play. This edition features five appendices that follow the text of Love's Labour's Lost. They include an examination of the play's original texts, additional lines omitted in the text of this edition, and discussions of Moth's name, rhymes, and compound words in the play. Also included are a preface, an index, and lists of illustrations, abbreviations, and references.
The Arden Shakespeare has developed a reputation as the pre-eminent critical edition of Shakespeare for its exceptional scholarship, reflected in the thoroughness of each volume. An introduction comprehensively contextualizes the play, chronicling the history and culture that surrounded and influenced Shakespeare at the time of its writing and performance, and closely surveying critical approaches to the work. Detailed appendices address problems like dating and casting, and analyze the differing Quarto and Folio sources. A full commentary by one or more of the play's foremost contemporary scholars illuminates the text, glossing unfamiliar terms and drawing from an abundance of research and expertise to explain allusions and significant background information. Highly informative and accessible, Arden offers the fullest experience of Shakespeare available to a reader.