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The Role of English-Russian Relations in Love’s Labour’s Lost

September 10, 2023 @ 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm


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Shakespeare’s play, Love’s Labour’s Lost has perplexed scholars and theatergoers for more than 400 years because of its linguistic complexity, obscure topical allusions, and non-comedic ending. Traditionally it has been seen as Shakespeare’s “French” play, based on events and characters from the French Wars of Religion.

In her book Shakespeare, Elizabeth and Ivan: The Role of English-Russian Relations in ‘Love’s Labours Lost’, Dr. Rima Greenhill outlines an interpretation of the play which, she believes, is rooted in diplomatic and trade relations between Russia and Elizabethan England during the decades following England’s discovery of a northern trade route to Muscovy in 1553. She draws on original research of 16th century sources in English, Latin, French and Italian, and surveys Russian sources previously unavailable in translation.

Dr. Greenhill will provide the context for the Russian-English exchange, describe some of the Russian elements in the play, talk about the significance of its secondary characters, and explain its most enigmatic elements and linguistic anomalies, as well as its two plays-within-the play: the Masque of the Muscovites and the Pageant of the Nine Worthies.

Dr. Greenhill is a Senior Lecturer in Russian language in the department of Slavic languages and literatures at Stanford University. Prior to that she taught at the School of Slavonic and East European Languages, London University where she also received her PhD in Russian language and literature.


September 10, 2023
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Event Category:


CA United States


Gordon Gidlund

Guest events: Unless specifically mentioned, The San Diego Shakespeare Society is not involved with any guest events published to our calendar. (Our events will have the notation of “SDSS event.) Inclusion here is neither an endorsement nor a recommendation of other events.