The thermal properties, crystalline structure and shape memory effects of poly(L-lactide) (PLLA) and poly(L-lactide-co-epsilon-caprolactone) (PCLA) copolymers are systematically investigated by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and tensile tests. The effects of the deformation strain on the shape recovery rate and recovery stress are also revealed. The polymers have the PLLA crystal and the amorphous phase, which are served as the fixed phase and reversible phase, respectively. The shape recovery rate and the recovery stress are significantly affected by the compositions and the deformation strain. With the increase of the deformation strain, the shape recovery rate decrease and higher shape recovery rate can be obtained in the polymers which have higher epsilon-CL content. However, the variation of recovery stress with the deformation strain is quite different and the maximum recovery stress of all polymers exceeds 3 MPa.