The exciting conclusion of Love’s Labors Lost! Will everyone find love? Or will it be lost? Who knows?!
Act IV, Scene 3
Biron is still struggling with the fact that he is in love. He is in utter turmoil over it, but still he thinks of Rosaline. He loves her so much that he is writing her another poem. It wouldn’t be that big of a deal if everyone else was in love too…
The King enters with his own paper in hand. Biron quickly hides. The King, too, has been inspired by his own love to write a poem. He struggles to think how he will give the Princess the poem. His grief is cut short by another entering…
Wouldn’t you know it, Longaville is in love, too. He’s conflicted over breaking his oath and afraid that his poem won’t be enough to move Maria to love him in return. He reads his poem aloud until Dumain enters, so he hides.
Dumain, shockingly, is also in love. He loves Katherine so much that his blood runs hot. He reads his own poem aloud. He wishes the others were in love as well, so he wouldn’t be alone in breaking the oath.
This is when Longaville comes out of hiding, preparing to scold Dumain for breaking the oath. But, the King is there, too. He’s ready to call out Longaville. Then, Biron pops out to make them all look silly. He goes on a long tirade about seeing such great men so debased in love and questions how he could associate with scandalous oath breakers.
Too bad for Biron that Jaquenetta and Costard are there with his misdelivered letter. Biron attempts to hide his shame, but fails. The others quickly find out that he loves Rosaline. They begin to tease her to get under his skin and it works.
Biron eventually resurrects his old argument against the three years of fasting and studying. He asserts again that they have given up much worth studying in the world in favor of books. That love is the ultimate source of wisdom and greatness. The men all agree and they plan on how to win over their loves.
Act V, Scene 1
Holofernes and Nathaniel comment on how long-winded Armado is…in possibly the most long-winded way possible.
Armado and Moth enter with a question. They have to go through a very long discussion of the finer points of language before actually getting to the point. The King wants Holofernes and the others to put on a play. They decide – after a few wordy insults – to present the Nine Worthies. Holofernes quickly casts all the parts, taking on three roles himself. They go to practice.
Act V, Scene 2
The Princess shows her ladies some diamond jewelry she received with a poem from the King. Rosaline and Katherine get into a passive aggressive cat fight until the Princess interrupts. Rosaline has received a gift as well. In fact, all of the ladies have received gifts from their chosen loves.
They make gentle fun of the men that pursue them and comment on how love turns wise men into fools.
Boyet enters, laughing hard. He explains that the men have concocted a ridiculous plan to try and win the ladies over. The will put on a masked ball and dress as Russians to woo the ladies. I suppose to cover up the fact that they are breaking there oath? Anyway, the women find this completely ridiculous and decide to switch favors, so the men won’t be able to tell who is who. Then, they won’t play along with any of the courtly love games. They won’t dance and shut down all of their pledges of love.
The men approach in masks. Moth starts to compliment them with beautiful verse. The ladies turn their backs. This flusters Moth and he keeps messing up the lines until Biron sends him off.
Rosaline (as the Princess) asks what these strange men want. They explain that they only wish to visit. She says that they have now, so they can go. The King pleads to stay explaining that they have tread many miles. Rosaline tries to get them to narrow down exactly how many miles they traveled, but can’t seem to get a straight answer out of any of them. They explain that they count nothing if it means they get to be with these lovely ladies.
Rosaline quickly shuts down all of their advances. She explains that she will not dance with them. That none of the ladies will, so the men can just go. The King convinces her to talk in private and she obliges. Slowly, all of the men pull their “ladies” aside for a private chat. After a few short minutes, Rosaline tells the women to break off from their men and the “Russians” leave.
The ladies all have a good laugh at how ridiculous all of the men’s speeches were. They laugh harder still that all of the men pledged their love to the wrong woman. Boyet explains that the men are coming back as themselves. The women decide to still tease them, but this time as themselves. They go into their tent to prepare.
The King and his companions approach and ask Boyet to fetch the ladies. Boyet, of course, has a witty retort and after he leaves Biron comments on how quick Boyet is with his wit and how the ladies adore him so.
The ladies re-enter the scene. The King tells the Princess that they have come to escort her into his court. She reminds him of his oath and says the field is just fine. She explains it has been quite entertaining because some Russians just paid them a nice visit. Rosaline interrupts to say that the visit was not nice and in fact the Russians were a bunch of fools. Biron tries to stand up for the Russians, but loses that battle of wits.
The men quickly realize they are being teased because the women knew exactly who they were the whole time. Biron jumps into a speech about how from this point forward he will profess his love in a straightforward manner. When the tokens are brought up, the ladies reveal that they switched tokens earlier and that all of the men had, in fact, professed their love to the wrong women. The men try to deny it until the women perfectly restate their words of passion. Biron, embarrassed, speaks through the joke again and then asks Boyet if he was in on it. Of course, he was.
Costard enters to introduce the nine worthies. It turns out three men will be playing three worthies each, so they have quite a discussion about the math on that one. Costard being very confused. No one really mentions that there are definitely more than three people involved.
The King doesn’t want the show to go on because it is definitely going to be embarrassing. He is quickly overruled and Armado hands over the cast list. There’s more questioning on how counting works.
Costard comes out first as Pompey the Great. The rest immediately start teasing him and he flusters his lines. Nathaniel tries next as Alexander the Great. He is quickly teased and shooed away by Costard at the request of Biron. Holofernes explains Moth as Hercules and then tries to launch into his speech as Judas Maccabaeus. They talk to him as though he was Judas, the apostle who betrayed Jesus and he leaves. Armado is last as Hector. He lasts the longest against the teasing, but once Costard accuses him of impregnating Jaquenetta, the play is briefly ended.
The merriment quickly comes to an end when the Princess is told that her father has died. She is, of course, sad and prepares to leave at once. The King, being so very understanding, doesn’t want her to go into mourning because that would mean all this fun courting has to end. Biron tries to convince them to break the rules of mourning like the men broke their oath.
It doesn’t work and the Princess tells the King to go live in complete solitude with no luxuries for a year. If he still loves her after all that time, he may come to see her. Rosaline tasks Biron with spending a year cheering up the sick with his quick wit. Dumain and Longaville just have to not court anyone else for a year.
Armado explains that he will hold his love for Jaquenetta for three years. The cast returns to sing their final song…
And the sequel was possibly lost to time.