Love's Labor's Lost

Rosaline Character Analysis

Read our modern English translation.
One of the princess’ ladies who comes with her on the visit to Ferdinand. She is able to hold her own in witty back-and-forths with Berowne, who falls in love with her. At the end of the play, she tells Berowne to spend a year at a hospital, trying to make the sick laugh, before continuing to woo her.

Rosaline Quotes in Love's Labor's Lost

The Love's Labor's Lost quotes below are all either spoken by Rosaline or refer to Rosaline. 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 numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Simon & Schuster edition of Love's Labor's Lost published in 2005.
Act 3, Scene 1 Quotes

And I forsooth in Love! I that have been love’s whip,
A very beadle to a humorous sigh,
A critic, nay, a nightwatch constable,
A domineering pedant o’er the boy,
Than whom no mortal so magnificent.
This wimpled, whining, purblind, wayward boy,
This Signior Junior, giant dwarf, Dan Cupid,
Regent of love rhymes, lord of folded arms,
Th’annointed sovereign of sighs and groans,
Liege of all loiterers and malcontents,
Dread prince of plackets, king of codpieces,
Sole imperator and great general
Of trotting paritors—O my little heart!
Am I to be a corporal of his field
And wear his colors like a tumbler’s hoop!
What? I love, I sue, I seek a wife?
. . . It is a plague
That Cupid will impose for my neglect
Of his almighty dreadful little might.
Well, I will love, write, sigh, pray, sue, groan.
Some men must love my lady, and some Joan.

Related Characters: Berowne (speaker), Rosaline
Related Symbols: Love Letters
Page Number: 3.1.184-215
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Act 4, Scene 2 Quotes

If love make me forsworn, how shall I swear to love?
Ah, never faith could hold, if not to beauty vowed!
Though to myself forsworn, to thee I’ll faithful prove.
. . .
If knowledge be the mark, to know thee shall suffice.
Well-learned is that tongue that well can thee commend.
All ignorant that soul that sees thee without wonder;
Which is to me some praise that I thy parts admire.
. . .
Celestial as thou art, O pardon love this wrong,
That sings heaven’s praise with such an earthly tongue.

Related Characters: Berowne (speaker), Nathaniel (speaker), Rosaline
Related Symbols: Love Letters
Page Number: 4.2.126-143
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Act 4, Scene 3 Quotes

I will not love. If I do, hang me. I’ faith, I will not. O, but her eye! By this light, but for her eye I would not love her; yes, for her two eyes. Well, I do nothing in the world but lie, and lie in my throat. By heaven, I do love, and it hath taught me to rhyme, and to be melancholy.

Related Characters: Berowne (speaker), Rosaline
Page Number: 4.3.8-13
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Act 5, Scene 2 Quotes

We are wise girls to mock our lovers so.

They are worse fools to purchase mocking so.

Related Characters: The Princess of France (speaker), Rosaline (speaker), Ferdinand, Berowne
Page Number: 5.2.63-64
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

The gallants shall be tasked,
For, ladies, we will every one be masked,
And not a man of them shall have the grace,
Despite of suit, to see a lady’s face.
Hold, Rosaline, this favor thou shalt wear,
And then the King will court thee for his dear.
Hold, take thou this, my sweet, and give me thine
So shall Berowne take me for Rosaline.

Related Characters: The Princess of France (speaker), Ferdinand, Berowne, Rosaline
Page Number: 5.2.133-140
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Oft have I heard of you, my Lord Berowne,
Before I saw you; and the world’s large tongue
Proclaims you for a man replete with mocks,
Full of comparisons and wounding flouts,
Which you on all estates will execute
That lie within the mercy of your wit.
To weed this wormwood from your fruitful brain,
And therewithal to win me, if you please,
Without the which I am not to be won,
You shall this twelvemonth term from day to day
Visit the speechless sick, and still converse
With groaning wretches; and your task shall be,
With all the fierce endeavor of your wit,
To enforce the pained impotent to smile.

To move wild laughter in the throat of death?
It cannot be, it is impossible.
Mirth cannot move a soul in agony.

Related Characters: Berowne (speaker), Rosaline (speaker)
Page Number: 5.914-930
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Rosaline Character Timeline in Love's Labor's Lost

The timeline below shows where the character Rosaline appears in Love's Labor's Lost. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 2, Scene 1
Men and Women Theme Icon
Work, Pleasure, and Comedy Theme Icon
The princess of France enters with her attendants: Boyet, Katherine, Rosaline, and Maria. Complimenting her beauty, Boyet reminds the princess to be charming toward Ferdinand, as... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
Intelligence Theme Icon
Work, Pleasure, and Comedy Theme Icon
...and “glorious in arms.” Katherine says that Dumaine is “a well-accomplished youth” with much wit. Rosaline tells the princess about Berowne, whom she describes as skilled with words, witty, and merry.... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Intelligence Theme Icon
Work, Pleasure, and Comedy Theme Icon
...wants to welcome her as a good host, but cannot violate his own oath. Meanwhile, Rosaline and Berowne flirt with each other, having recognized each other from a dance. They trade... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
...is “denied fair harbour in my house,” then leaves. Berowne trades more witty quips with Rosaline, and Dumaine then asks Boyet what Katherine’s name is, calling her “a gallant lady,” before... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Intelligence Theme Icon
Work, Pleasure, and Comedy Theme Icon
...love with her, as evidenced by the way he spoke to and looked at her. Rosaline calls Boyet a “love-monger” and Maria calls him “Cupid’s grandfather.” (full context)
Act 3, Scene 1
Language Theme Icon
Intelligence Theme Icon
...says he hasn’t even told him what the favor is yet. He tells Costard about Rosaline and asks him to deliver her a letter. (full context)
Act 4, Scene 1
Language Theme Icon
Intelligence Theme Icon
...with a head. Costard tells the princess that he has a letter from Berowne for Rosaline. Boyet takes the letter and sees that it is addressed to Jacquenetta. (full context)
Language Theme Icon
Intelligence Theme Icon
The princess tells Costard that he has mixed up his letters. Everyone but Maria, Rosaline, Boyet, and Costard leaves. Boyet and Rosaline joke about hunting: she says that she is... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Language Theme Icon
Intelligence Theme Icon
Rosaline and Boyet sing part of a song together, and then Rosaline leaves. Maria says that... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 2
Love Theme Icon
Language Theme Icon
Intelligence Theme Icon
...letter, which is a poem praising someone’s beauty. It is the letter from Berowne to Rosaline. (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Language Theme Icon
Intelligence Theme Icon
...says that though he will break his oath to Ferdinand, he will be faithful to Rosaline. He says that if the point of the oath is knowledge, he will gain enough... (full context)
Language Theme Icon
Intelligence Theme Icon
...it. He reads the top of the letter and sees that it is addressed to Rosaline, from Berowne. He tells Jacquenetta to bring the letter to Ferdinand, and she and Costard... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 3
Love Theme Icon
Alone, Berowne considers his love for Rosaline, saying, “it kills me.” He swears he will not love her, but then remembers her... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Language Theme Icon
Intelligence Theme Icon
...asks Ferdinand and the others to break it with him. He describes his love for Rosaline and how beautiful she is. The king says that Rosaline is nothing but “an attending... (full context)
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Intelligence Theme Icon
Ferdinand criticizes Rosaline’s dark complexion, saying “black is the badge of hell.” Berowne maintains his opinion of her... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 2
Love Theme Icon
Work, Pleasure, and Comedy Theme Icon
The princess, Katherine, Rosaline, and Maria all examine the gifts they have received from their respective admirers. From Ferdinand,... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
Intelligence Theme Icon
After a playfully witty exchange between Rosaline and Katherine, conversation turns again to the group’s love gifts. Rosaline has received a love... (full context)
Intelligence Theme Icon
Work, Pleasure, and Comedy Theme Icon
...that Berowne has composed, but they turn their backs to the men. Mote leaves, and Rosaline has Boyet ask Berowne what the men’s intentions are. Berowne says that he and his... (full context)
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Work, Pleasure, and Comedy Theme Icon
Berowne evades the question and trades some witty quips back and forth with Rosaline. Ferdinand and his men play some music and ask the ladies to dance, but they... (full context)
Men and Women Theme Icon
Intelligence Theme Icon
Work, Pleasure, and Comedy Theme Icon
The princess wonders what they should do if Ferdinand and his men return undisguised. Rosaline suggests that they tease them by talking about a group of foolish Russians who were... (full context)
Men and Women Theme Icon
Intelligence Theme Icon
Work, Pleasure, and Comedy Theme Icon
...they were just visited by “a mess of Russians.” Ferdinand tries to act surprised, and Rosaline describes the Russians as fools. (full context)
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Berowne says that Rosaline sees wise things as foolish, and she replies that this means he must be very... (full context)
Men and Women Theme Icon
Intelligence Theme Icon
Work, Pleasure, and Comedy Theme Icon
...the Russian disguise and promises to use no more deception, avowing his sincere love for Rosaline. Ferdinand asks the princess how he can make up for his “rude transgression,” and she... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
...be available for his courtship. Maria similarly tells Longaville to wait a year. Berowne asks Rosaline what her response to his suit is, and she gives a slightly longer answer. (full context)
Intelligence Theme Icon
Work, Pleasure, and Comedy Theme Icon
Rosaline tells Berowne that she has heard of his reputation for wit. She tells him that... (full context)