Kenneth Hite (princeofcairo) wrote,
Kenneth Hite
princeofcairo

Our Revels Now Have Ended

Tonight, kaynorr, gnosticpi, luckymarty, ladys0phistic8 and myself finished up the Shakespearean Dramaturgy Game. Much fun was had by all, and more will be revealed in the next "Suppressed Transmission" After-Action Report, but I worked too bloody hard on this not to brag here -- I wrote a lost Shakespeare play. Complete with the reason it was suppressed, which appears in the last scene.

Okay, I didn't write it, per se, but I plotted it. Behind the cut, then, I give you, ladies and gentles, all that remains of Master William Shakespeare's Love's Labour's Won, the lost sequel to Love's Labour's Lost.1


DRAMATIS PERSONAE:

FERDINAND, King of Navarre
DUMAINE, LONGAVILLE, and BEROWNE, lords attending on the King
QUEEN OF FRANCE
KATHERINE, MARIA, and ROSALINE, ladies attending on the Queen
THE DUKE OF BURGUNDY
ORFEE, HYLE, and LANCETON, lords attending on the Duke
VIOLA, a lady of Navarre
HOLOFERNES, a schoolmaster
DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO, a Spaniard now votary of Knowledge
MOTH, a page to Armado
COSTARD, a Clown
HIPPOLYTA, Queen of the Amazons
An old WIDOW
BARABBAS, a Jewish merchant

PATIENTS, LORDS, ATTENDANTS, SOLDIERS, AMAZONS, & c.

ACT ONE:

Scene One (Navarre. A park with a palace in it.): Moth and Costard discuss the events of the previous play, the love of Navarre and his court for France and hers, and the oaths that separate them for a year and a day. Armado and Holofernes enter and discuss Armado's studies of astronomy.

Scene Two (A hermitage in Navarre): Ferdinand, Dumaine, and Longaville pine for their loves, but vow to remain true to their oath, and not seek their ladies until a year and a day have passed, though only a fortnight remains.

Scene Three (A hospital in Navarre): Berowne cheers the patients with his wit, engaging in flirtation with Viola, a beautiful patient. But when she presses her love, he refuses her, citing his oath to Rosaline.

Scene Four (The hermitage): Word arrives of "rich Burgundy" pressing France by suit of arms for the Queen's hand. Ferdinand, Dumaine, and Longaville agonize over their oaths, but resolve to set out to save the Queen "with treasure, arms, and love."

Scene Five (The hospital): Ferdinand, Dumaine, and Longaville persuade Berowne to accompany them on their march despite his oath. Viola overhears Berowne and decides that if he can forswear his oath here, he may come to love Viola. She resolves to dress as a boy (Viola's cousin Oliver) and join the march.

ACT TWO:

Scene One (France. The royal palace.): Rosaline, Maria, and Katherine discuss the state of affairs in France, pine for their own lovers.

Scene Two (The same.): Burgundy presses his suit before the Queen. She tells him of her love for Ferdinand and of Ferdinand's oath, and he agrees that such an oath is sacred, but maintains that it cannot be upheld. The Queen agrees to allow him and his lords to press their suit at court.

Scene Three (The same.): Orfee demonstrates his sweet singing voice to Katherine, Hyle demonstrates his graceful dancing to Maria, and Lanceton demonstrates his skill at arms to Rosaline. The Duke of Burgundy asks the Queen for her decision.

Scene Four (The same.): The Queen and her three ladies discuss and contrast their suitors, but decide to remain faithful to the oath. Burgundy therefore remains in occupation of France.

ACT THREE:

Scene One (The park in Navarre.): "Oliver" chaffers with Costard, Moth, and Armado about the flightiness of women. Armado defends his own love but explains that she, too, must compete with the goddess of Knowledge.

Scene Two (The same.): Ferdinand and his lords decide to send all the women away from the army so that Ferdinand, Dumaine, and Longaville may stay somewhat true to their oath, "as the march shall be our hermitage."

Scene Three (The same.): Berowne mopes about violating his own oath, but cheers himself up by baiting "Oliver." He gives as good as he gets.

Scene Four (The pass into France): The army refuses to march further without women. Ferdinand threatens to banish them all, but "Oliver" points out that a king who is breaking his oath cannot compel faith from others.

Scene Five (A field in France): Without an army, Ferdinand and company must travel through the dangerous and magical Forest of Broceliand to hide from Burgundy's troops.

ACT FOUR:

Scene One (The Forest Broceliand. A clearing.): Hippolyta expresses a longing for love, contrasts it with a longing for battle. When she hears of Ferdinand's entry into her forest, she decides to challenge him on both fronts.

Scene Two (The same.): Since Ferdinand and his men may not see a woman, they deputize "Oliver" to be their go-between with Hippolyta. There is much arch byplay.

Scene Three (The same.): "Oliver" brings Hippolyta's challenge back, engages in byplay with Berowne. Again, points out that since Berowne (at least) and the rest (quite likely) are foresworn, they are completely dependent on Hippolyta's mercy -- she is under no obligation to treat with them fairly. Ferdinand decides he must meet with Hippolyta, but look only in a mirror so as not to see a woman.

Scene Four (The same.): Ferdinand and Hippolyta meet. She forces him to surrender without fighting (since he can't face her in battle), and he gives her all his treasure instead of either love or combat. Hippolyta isn't happy with the outcome, but "Oliver" points out that there will be no glory in fighting or loving a forsworn man.

ACT FIVE:

Scene One (A village in France.): Now impoverished, Ferdinand and company must find food. They refuse the charity of an old widow, as she is a woman. "Oliver" accepts and gets food for himself but holds them to their oath when they try to get food from him. The others must trade their rich robes to Barabbas for food, and are reduced to beggars' motley.

Scene Two (France. Outside the royal palace.): The four beggars are refused entry. They engage in "foolish" talk with "Oliver."

Scene Three (France. The royal palace.) "Oliver," who of course was able to gain entry in his finery, challenges the Burgundian lords to duels for the love of Katherine, Maria, and Rosaline. He defeats Orfee at song (since as a woman, Viola's voice is sweeter than his), and Hyle at dance (since as a woman, she is more graceful than he). "Oliver" then secretly reveals that he is a woman to Lanceton, who is forced to forfeit the duel rather than fight a woman. "Oliver" gets permission to bring his attendants to the palace the next day.

Editor's Note: In the game, gnosticpi as Viola/"Oliver" improvised a bit of business in which "Oliver" huddles with the three maids and switches places, for complex magical reasons, with Rosaline. luckymarty then pointed out that that would resonate well with the scene in Love's Labour's Lost in which the various ladies switch masks and test their lovers. I'm not sure this isn't actually better, but it does noticeably change the play.

Scene Four (The same.): "Oliver" bestows the loves he has won on Dumaine, Longaville, and Berowne. They reveal their true identities, and Dumaine and Longaville explain that their march was a hermitage. Katherine and Maria weaken, but Burgundy points out that they have still violated their vows "as it wants ten days yet on their penance." By contrast, Rosaline rejects Berowne since he has not been entertaining the sick at all -- until Viola unmasks and reveals that yes, Berowne has been entertaining her all along the march. Again, Burgundy brings up the time factor. The Queen ends the audience for the night.

Scene Five (The same.): In a soliloquy, Berowne chooses Rosaline over Viola, even though he could marry Viola with no trouble and Burgundy will prevent him from marrying Rosaline. The other lovers come on stage and pine for each other. Suddenly, Moth enters bearing a letter from Armado -- his astronomical researches have proved that the calendar is wrong by ten days! Ferdinand decrees that in Navarre "'tis ten days hence" and his oath is therefore fulfilled. Although the Queen refuses to change the French calendar "of divine Julius," she agrees to marry Ferdinand in Navarre, and the other ladies agree to marry their lords. Burgundy, of course, has fallen in love with Viola and she agrees to marry him in exchange for his retreat from France. "Jack hath his Jill," and after a rousing song, the Epilogue explains that "the wide gap of time is clos'd by love."


[1] And but me no buts about Love's Labour's Won "actually" being All's Well That End's Well or Taming of the Shrew. That's just desperate flop-sweat on the brow of people trying to justify doctoral theses, all of it based on a tossed-off guess by Edmund Malone 250 years ago. No, Love's Labour's Won is well and truly lost, just like Cardenio.
Tags: games, shakespeare
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