Something that I had to read up as part of my curriculum eons ago…it was one of the early plays written by Shakespeare.
The play bristles with verbal wit and his usual complicated storyline. The King of Navarre and his three companions attempt to foreswear the company of women for three years that are to be spent in study and fasting. However, the King gets infatuated with the Princess of Aquitaine and his companion with her ladies in waiting. In an unusul ending for a comedy, the play closes with the death of the Princess’s father. So, all weddings are delayed for a year. The play talks a great deal about masculine love and desire, reckoning and rationalization, and reality versus fantasy.
What does the phrase actually mean? Is it a positive statement or does it reflect the fleeting emotion of ‘love’? Superficially it could imply that the person who is in love with someone has been let down by that person. So all the effort they had put into the relationship is now wasted.
Unrequited love has always inspired writers as it beautifully lends itself to the idea of angst, complicated scenarios and convoluted plots and denouements. Let us leave this aside.
Love’s Labour Lost has changed in its implication for me in the years flown by. I see so many people investing their thoughts, emotions, aspirations and dreams on one person. Rarely are these fulfilled as human behaviour is volatile.
Parents put in a lot of effort…love’s labour…into a child. When the child grows up, s/he moves on with their own life and parents very often are sidelines. Influences of peers and partners take precedence over that of parents! In the modern world we see many kids abandoning parents and interacting with them rarely, not taking them into confidence about personal milestones. I am not being judgemental and saying that this is wrong or right…that is the way society works.
More and more, I see marriages flounder in my world after 20 to 30 years of married life. This includes arranged marriages and what we call ‘luv’ marriages in India. Women seem to feel that their labour in this relationship has been rewardless or unfulfilling. Men too seem to want out of difficult partnerships where their wives have been over demanding or critical..of course trophy husbands and wives attributed to mid life crisis seems to totally discount all the effort put into a relationship for decades. Partners are discarded in what may seem to be a whim…but what happens inside a relationship the partners only know. The gel that stuck together this relationship—mostly kids or finances…seems to melt away once kids are grown up!
Friendships are supposed to last..but many are actually like ‘train friendships’! You get on and off the train at different stations…we promise to keep in touch, but in the course of daily routines, people are left behind in the wayside. So the effort that goes into getting to know somebody, investing in that friendship and then the momentum getting reduced or lost is very common. Few friends stay on in life.
Take this consortium…..it took time and people to build up into a vibrant forum to exchange ideas….today there but a handful that believe that ‘Love’s Labour is not Lost’. So like the prodigal I come back into the fold hoping for some fatted lettuce and pasta (I am a veggie, you know)!
The seven other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order, Ashok, gaelikaa, Maxi, Rummuser, Shackman and The Old Fossil. We have a new blogger Lin at Dun-Na-Sead joining us this week and I extend her a warm welcome to the LBC.