I think you will have to take my introductory remarks as being my opening remarks. I believe that my initial document pointed to some of the things I had curiosity about. Form does NOT interest me much because of the wide-open, spoofing nature of what was probably a child-actor, private theatre performance--perhaps before the Queen. I would be more interested in learning about the influences, most delightful jokes, and references to bits of drama (and other literature) that came before and were still to come in a play written around 1597.
In terms of the larger plot, which has relatively limited relationship to the spoofing and joking, I think those two scenes are both lovely and central. I would be happy to have individuals take individual sections of Love's Labor's Lost and plumb them for influences, jokes and side references--since these are so dense. I feel most of this play is not really representative of "early" or "developing" Shakespeare. So the play's context and relationship to the theatrical and literary/social world of its time strike me as the best mine to dig in. I know this goes against the notion of hitting each play afresh, but there you have it.
I appreciate Randall's extra work and like his third and fifth questions best. I had been determined to show you a bit of what Lyly was like, and may still be able to do so.
Gerard Manley Hopkins and Shakespeare
20 hours ago