Deception In Love's Labors Lost

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“The effect of my intent is to cross theirs: They do it but in mocking merriment; And mock for mock is only my intent.”—William Shakespeare, Love’s Labor’s Lost Like most would, the princess in Shakespeare’s play, Love’s Labor’s Lost, devised a plan as a counter attack on the men who were planning to deceive the ladies at a ball. What started out as a harmless joke ended up unveiling the beginning stages of the various levels of deception throughout the play. Throughout this play, the men’s and women’s costumes and blocking enhanced the performance by increasing the characters’ ignorance and audience's awareness of deception. The men physically disguising themselves as Russians highlighted the characters’ willingness to deceive the other…show more content…
Longaville presented a necklace to his love, Maria, while Dumaine gave a glove to Katherine. The princess received a jeweled broach by her suitor, the King of Navarre. Lastly, Rosaline obtained a hair piece from Berowne. A necklace, a jeweled broach, a glove, and a hair piece symbolized the pairings between each lady and her suitor. Once Boyet communicated the men’s plan to disguise themselves to the ladies, the Princess devised her own plan to mock the mockers (5. 2. 147). The other ladies agreed to the counter-deception and swapped the favors that their men had given them, disguising themselves as one another. The audience could see the irony of how the gifts that were meant to identify each lady were turned into weapons against the bestowers. Each lady was courted by the wrong suitor because of her disguise, which later on, added to the confusion of the men who were trying to court them. The organized chaos, created by the ladies’ dance in the Russian scene, contributed to the confusion of the misled men. The ladies, including the princess, Rosaline, Maria, and Katherine, danced throughout the Russian scene avoiding and confusing the men. They agreed to forego dancing and to turn away their faces as each man spoke (5. 2. 153-155). The dance intentionally created a commotion on the stage, allowing the ladies to divert the men and avoid

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