A Feast of Language(s): Shakespeare's Use of Rethoric in Love Labour's Lost

Jean-Marie Maguin

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Abstract :
International audience
A Catalogue of rhetorical figures and devices used by Shakespeare in Love’s Labour’s Lost allows one to get close to a play notable for its rhetoric-aware characters. They fall into groups and types that serve the playwright’s intent to mock ‘painted rhetoric’ obeying a euphuistic model with such blind enthusiasm that the ornamentation of discourse ends by paralysing it, as proven by Holofernes and Armado. The split between rhetorical styles models the social gap between commoners and aristocrats. The types of characters and their oratorical postures show Love’s Labour’s Lost to be a forerunner of plays like A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Much Ado About Nothing that mark the last few years of Elizabeth I’s reign. The picture that finally emerges is that of a dramatist who becomes aware of his exceptional command of language and is ready to use it to satirise affectation in daily life and on the stage where burlesque is the dubious prerogative of amateur actors.
Published : 2015
Document Type : Journal articles
Affiliation : Institut de recherche sur la Renaissance, l'Age Classique, et les Lumières. (IRCL) ; Université Paul-Valéry - Montpellier 3 (UPVM)-Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)


Jean-Marie Maguin, « A Feast of Language(s): Shakespeare's Use of Rethoric in Love Labour's Lost », Cycnos, 2015. URL : https://hal.science/hal-02167478