Dr. Phil Collington, associate professor of English, and Dr. Tara Collington, chair of French studies at the University of Waterloo, published "The Time When … The Place Where”: Chronotopes and Chronologies
in Love's Labour's Lost in the Fall 2014 issue of Studies in Philology.
Here is the abstract:
"William Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost notoriously confronts readers and playgoers with a number of puzzles linked to its representation of time and space, resulting in thematic and generic controversies, such as its refusal to end in marriage, “like an old play” (5.2.856). Careful study of unfolding narrative events reveals three overlapping temporal frameworks that render the comedy’s unfolding plot at times cyclical and slow, at times measured and moderate, at times linear and fast. These frameworks are accompanied by such spatial juxtapositions as private study vs. public ceremony, bucolic nature vs. courtly artifice, and monastic asceticism vs. worldly pleasures. Using Mikhail Bakhtin’s chronotope, which posits the indissoluble connection of time and space in literature, this article will identify three temporo-spatial frames that we have termed the chronotope of the retreat, the chronotope of the embassy, and the chronotope of the comic idyll. Each proves a locus or matrix where narrative events, cultural associations, and generic expectations intermingle to create a complex experience for playgoers and readers. Familiarity with these three models renders the play’s purportedly shocking conclusion rather more topically apt, generically logical, and chronotopically inevitable. The resulting temporo-spatial medley generates hitherto unrecognized comic subgenres, thematic coherence, and structural cohesiveness in a play often dismissed as haphazardly plotted or formally inconsistent."