Love's Labor's Lost

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Longaville Character Analysis

One of Ferdinand’s three main attendants. He eagerly agrees to Ferdinand’s oath at the start of the play, but before long falls in love with Maria and attempts to woo her as Ferdinand, Berowne, and Dumaine try to woo their own French women. Like Dumaine, he is somewhat witty but less so than Berowne.

Longaville Quotes in Love's Labor's Lost

The Love's Labor's Lost quotes below are all either spoken by Longaville or refer to Longaville. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Love Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Simon & Schuster edition of Love's Labor's Lost published in 2005.
Act 1, Scene 1 Quotes

Therefore, brave conquerors, for so you are,
That war against your own affections
And the huge army of the world’s desires,
Our late edict shall strongly stand in force.
Navarre shall be the wonder of the world;
Our court shall be a little academe,
Still and contemplative in living art.

Related Characters: Ferdinand (speaker), Berowne, Longaville, Dumaine
Page Number: 1.1.8-14
Explanation and Analysis:

These lines come from the play's opening speech, in which Ferdinand, King of Navarre, introduces his oath and his plan to devote three years time to study only. He invokes honor and fame, which will outlive them well beyond their deaths and the passage of time. Here, he refers to Berowne, Longaville, and Dumaine as "brave conquerors" in "that war against [their] own affections / And the huge army of the world's desires."

The effort to conquer their own desires and affections hints at the contents of the king's "edict" which the men will all sign and agree to. This oath will be to devote three years only to the serious study of academics, with the purpose of making Navarre "the wonder of the world," and the court like "a little academe" (academic community). Ferdinand idealizes intelligence and places it as his highest priority. He swears to pursue intelligence and academics with a serious, solemn dedication, and appears to have no time for pleasure, play, or love. This intense plan to work is made more explicit by the specific contents of his oath, below.


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Act 4, Scene 3 Quotes

O, we have made a vow to study, lords,
And in that vow we have forsworn our books.
For when would you, my liege, or you, or you,
In leaden contemplation have found out
Such fiery numbers as the prompting eyes
Of beauty’s tutors have enriched you with?
Other slow arts entirely keep the brain
And therefore, finding barren practicers,
Scarce show a harvest of their heavy toil.
But love, first learned in a lady’s eyes,
Lives not alone immured in the brain,
But with the motion of all elements
Courses as swift as thought in every power,
And gives to every power a double power,
Above their functions and their offices.
It adds a precious seeing to the eye.
A lover’s eyes will gaze an eagle blind.
A lover’s ear will hear the lowest sound,
When the suspicious head of theft is stopped.
Love’s feeling is more soft and sensible
Than are the tender horns of cockled snails.
. . .
Never durst poet touch a pen to write
Until his ink were tempered with love’s sighs.
. . .
From women’s eyes this doctrine I derive.
They sparkle still the right Promethean fire.
They are the books, the arts, the academes
That show, contain, and nourish all the world.

Related Characters: Berowne (speaker), Ferdinand, Longaville, Dumaine
Page Number: 4.3.312-347
Explanation and Analysis:

Ferdinand, Longaville, Dumaine, and Berowne have all discovered that each other man has fallen in love with a woman and is temped to break the vow; Berowne's letter for Rosaline, mis-delivered by Costard to Jacqueneta, has also been revealed. Realizing that everyone is in love and wants to break the oath, King Ferdinand asks Berowne to use his intelligence and clever language to get them out of it with their honor still intact.

Excerpted is Berowne's clever argument, which allows the men to forget about their vow to work and study for three years while keeping good conscience. He says that they "have made a vow to study" and have given up their books. But this practice is responsible and even in line with their vow, he argues, since the men could never have learned from their books what they learned from the "prompting eyes / Of beauty's tutors." Love, he says, much more than the other arts or anything else, leads to usable, important knowledge that cannot be learned anywhere else. Love, seen in a lady's eyes, teaches everything they need to know. At one point, he suggest that no poet ever wrote "until his ink were tempered with love's sighs." Women, he says, are the "books, the arts, the academes / That show, contain, and nourish all the world."

This argument presents a stark reversal from the initial vow and Ferdinand's apparent position at the start of the play, which suggested that women were only sexual distractions from true work and study. Now that they are in love, the men justify their oath-breaking by saying that women are the best tutors for true knowledge. What's more, they are the books, the arts, and the academies that sustain the world and the pursuit of knowledge. 

Act 5, Scene 2 Quotes

Write “Lord have mercy on us” on those three.
They are infected; in their hearts it lies.
They have the plague, and caught it of your eyes.

Related Characters: Berowne (speaker), Ferdinand, Longaville, Dumaine
Page Number: 5.2.457-459
Explanation and Analysis:

The confused men have left in their Russian disguises and returned as themselves; the women have continued to laugh at their expense, and slowly hinted that they knew it was the men in the Russian disguises all along. The women then reveal the trick they themselves have played by switching gifts. Embarrassed, here Berowne admits to the Russian trick and professes his true love for Rosaline. He says that he is sick, playing on the classic trope of being love-sick. He says that his friends, too, are in love, and that the three (Ferdinand, Longaville, and Dumaine) are "infected." They are afflicted with the "plague" (remember, Berowne has characterized love as a plague earlier in the play), and caught it from the eyes of their beloved, the classical method that love is transferred (think love at first sight). It is the eyes of the ladies that infected the men with love, and the eyes that Berowne has previously cited as being the great tutors of knowledge that enable them to justify breaking the oath.

We have received your letters full of love;
Your favors, the ambassadors of love;
And in our maiden council rated them
As courtship, pleasant jest, and courtesy,
As bombast and as lining to the time.
But more devout than this in our respects
Have we not been, and therefore met your loves
In their own fashion, like a merriment.

Our letters, madam, showed much more than jest.

So did our looks.

We did not quote them so.

Related Characters: Longaville (speaker), Dumaine (speaker), The Princess of France (speaker), Rosaline (speaker)
Related Symbols: Love Letters
Page Number: 5.2.852-862
Explanation and Analysis:

Ferdinand begs the Princess to not let the bad news interrupt their courtship and love, and Berowne explains that the men have broken their oaths for the sake of love. But here, the Princess explains that the women never took the courtship seriously. They received the love letters and the gifts—"ambassadors of love," typical tokens that might signal affections—but the women believed in this case they merely indicated "pleasant jest, and courtesy." For this reason, the women have met the love from the men in what they believed to be the fashion of the courtship—"like a merriment." In other words, the women here claim they believed the men have only been joking the whole time, framing the entire romance as comedy instead of genuine passion. The men all quickly respond that they meant "much more than jest" and were attempting to be genuine.

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Longaville Character Timeline in Love's Labor's Lost

The timeline below shows where the character Longaville appears in Love's Labor's Lost. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1, Scene 1
Work, Pleasure, and Comedy Theme Icon
Ferdinand, the king of Navarre, speaks to his three lords Berowne, Longaville, and Dumaine, about his plan to establish an academy at Navarre. Speaking of the importance... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
Work, Pleasure, and Comedy Theme Icon
Longaville and Dumaine each agree to this promise and sign their names to the written agreement... (full context)
Work, Pleasure, and Comedy Theme Icon
...Ferdinand says that he has a Spaniard named Armado who sings and plays music well. Longaville says that between the entertainment of Armado and the clown Costard, the three years will... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 1
Love Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
Intelligence Theme Icon
Work, Pleasure, and Comedy Theme Icon
...that have agreed to Ferdinand’s vow to study for three years without women. Maria describes Longaville as wise, virtuous, and “glorious in arms.” Katherine says that Dumaine is “a well-accomplished youth”... (full context)
Men and Women Theme Icon
Work, Pleasure, and Comedy Theme Icon
...field outside of his court, as if they were attacking enemies. Ferdinand then enters with Longaville, Dumaine, and Berowne. Ferdinand welcomes the princess, but she is offended at not being allowed... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
...Dumaine then asks Boyet what Katherine’s name is, calling her “a gallant lady,” before leaving. Longaville asks about Maria, whom he thinks is “a most sweet lady,” then exits. Berowne asks... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 3
Love Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
Work, Pleasure, and Comedy Theme Icon and expressing his love for her. Then, the king hears someone coming and hides. Longaville enters and laments that he will have to break his oath. Ferdinand and Berowne both... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Language Theme Icon
Intelligence Theme Icon
Longaville reads another poem he has written, which justifies his love in spite of his oath... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
...Dumaine is upset that he is breaking his oath, and wishes that Ferdinand, Berowne, and Longaville were in love, too. Just then, Longaville comes out of hiding and chastises Dumaine for... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
Intelligence Theme Icon
Ferdinand scolds both Dumaine and Longaville for violating their oaths, but then Berowne comes forth “to whip hypocrisy.” He criticizes all... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Work, Pleasure, and Comedy Theme Icon
...the king’s court, before entertaining them with “revels, dances, masques, and merry hours.” Ferdinand, Berowne, Longaville, and Dumaine all leave, eager to pursue their loves. (full context)
Act 5, Scene 2
Love Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
Intelligence Theme Icon
...with a drawing of her from Berowne. Katherine has been given gloves from Dumaine, and Longaville has given Maria pearls and a love letter. The women laugh at their suitors and... (full context)
Intelligence Theme Icon
Work, Pleasure, and Comedy Theme Icon
Mote, Ferdinand, Berowne, Longaville, and Dumaine arrive in Russian dress. The princess and her ladies put on their masks.... (full context)
Language Theme Icon
Intelligence Theme Icon
Work, Pleasure, and Comedy Theme Icon be the princess. Berowne talks to the princess, thinking she is Rosaline. Dumaine and Longaville talk to Maria and Katherine, respectively, thinking each to be the other. (full context)
Love Theme Icon any suitors, and then she will be available for his courtship. Maria similarly tells Longaville to wait a year. Berowne asks Rosaline what her response to his suit is, and... (full context)