Love's Labor's Lost

The Princess of France Character Analysis

Read our modern English translation.
The princess comes to visit Ferdinand on an official diplomatic mission from France, concerning the exchange of the territory of Aquitaine. But after an initial meeting with Ferdinand, most of her time is spent fending off his advances. The princess is very clever and outwits her host, pretending not to realize it is Ferdinand and his men in disguise when they come to her dressed as Russian ambassadors, and getting her ladies to pretend to be each other behind masks, in order to trick Ferdinand and his men. In the final scene of the play, the princess’ fun is put to an end by the serious news of her father’s death.

The Princess of France Quotes in Love's Labor's Lost

The Love's Labor's Lost quotes below are all either spoken by The Princess of France or refer to The Princess of France. 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 2, Scene 1 Quotes

If my observation, which very seldom lies,
By the heart’s still rhetoric, disclosed wi’ th’ eyes,
Deceive me not now, Navarre is infected.

With what?

With that which we lovers entitle “affected.”

Related Characters: The Princess of France (speaker), Boyet (speaker), Ferdinand
Page Number: 2.1.240-244
Explanation and Analysis:

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Act 5, Scene 1 Quotes

The very all of all is—but sweetheart, I do implore secrecy—that the King would have me present the Princess, sweet chuck, with some delightful ostentation, or show, or pageant, or antic, or firework.
. . .
Sir, you shall present before her the Nine Worthies.
. . .
Where will you find men worthy enough to present them?

Related Characters: Armado (speaker), Holofernes (speaker), Nathaniel (speaker), The Princess of France
Related Symbols: The Nine Worthies
Page Number: 5.1.109-125
Explanation and Analysis:

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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:

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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:

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White-handed mistress, one sweet word with thee.

Honey, and milk, and sugar—there is three.

Nay then, two treys, an if you grow so nice,
Metheglin, wort, and malmsey. Well run, dice!
There’s half a dozen sweets.

Seventh sweet, adieu.
Since you can cog, I’ll play no more with you.

One word in secret.

Let it not be sweet.

Thou grievest my gall.

Gall! Bitter.

Therefore meet.

Related Characters: Berowne (speaker), The Princess of France (speaker)
Page Number: 5.2.246-257
Explanation and Analysis:

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God save you, madam.

Welcome, Marcade,
But that thou interruptest our merriment.

I am sorry, madam, for the news I bring
Is heavy in my tongue. The King your father—

Dead, for my life.

Even so. My tale is told.

Worthies away! The scene begins to cloud.

Related Characters: Berowne (speaker), The Princess of France (speaker), Monsieur Marcade (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Nine Worthies
Page Number: 5.2.790-797
Explanation and Analysis:
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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:

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The Princess of France Character Timeline in Love's Labor's Lost

The timeline below shows where the character The Princess of France 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... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
Intelligence Theme Icon
Work, Pleasure, and Comedy Theme Icon
The princess asks her attendants about the lords that have agreed to Ferdinand’s vow to study for... (full context)
Men and Women Theme Icon
Work, Pleasure, and Comedy Theme Icon
Boyet returns and tells the princess that Ferdinand plans to have her and her attendants camp out in the field outside... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Intelligence Theme Icon
Work, Pleasure, and Comedy Theme Icon
Ferdinand apologizes and explains that he has “sworn an oath,” about which the princess teases him, taking advantage of his dilemma: he wants to welcome her as a good... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Work, Pleasure, and Comedy Theme Icon
Ferdinand reads a letter from the princess’ father offering a sum of money for the territory of Aquitaine. He says that it... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
...says he will be reasonable when he sees these papers. He promises to make the princess welcome and comfortable outside of his court, even though she is “denied fair harbour in... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Intelligence Theme Icon
Work, Pleasure, and Comedy Theme Icon
Maria tells Boyet about Berowne, who is a constant jokester. They trade witticisms, until the princess tells them to stop “this civil war of wits” and save their cleverness for Ferdinand... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 1
Language Theme Icon
Intelligence Theme Icon
The princess, her ladies, Boyet, and a forester are hunting. The princess says that she and her... (full context)
Language Theme Icon
Intelligence Theme Icon
The princess says that she will match her beauty with “merit,” by killing a deer “for praise.”... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
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...love for Jacquenetta. Armado compares himself to a lion seeking a lamb for prey. The princess laughs at the ridiculous letter. Boyet informs her that Armado is a Spaniard at Ferdinand’s... (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... (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.... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
Intelligence Theme Icon
Work, Pleasure, and Comedy Theme Icon
...of how foolish their lovers are, and Boyet enters, “stabb’d with laughter.” He tells the princess and her ladies that Ferdinand and his men are planning to visit them disguised as... (full context)
Language Theme Icon
Intelligence Theme Icon
Work, Pleasure, and Comedy Theme Icon
...whom he believes is her beloved. Ferdinand talks with Rosaline, believing her to be the princess. Berowne talks to the princess, thinking she is Rosaline. Dumaine and Longaville talk to Maria... (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... (full context)
Men and Women Theme Icon
Intelligence Theme Icon
Work, Pleasure, and Comedy Theme Icon
Ferdinand greets the princess and tells her that she is welcome now in his court. The princess declines, saying... (full context)
Work, Pleasure, and Comedy Theme Icon
...are preparing to fight, though, a messenger from France named Marcade arrives and tells the princess that he has unfortunate news: her father has died. Berowne tells all the actors of... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
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Ferdinand begs the princess not to let “the cloud of sorrow” disrupt “love’s argument.” Berowne tells the ladies, “for... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
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Work, Pleasure, and Comedy Theme Icon
The princess says that she and her ladies assumed the men’s avowals of love were all “pleasant... (full context)