Many human being shy far from reading Shakespeare since of the facility sentence structure, language variances and mix the prose and also verse. Expertise and assessing Shakespeare doesn"t have to be painful; readers need only follow specific steps to get a thorough understanding of the prologue in "Romeo and Juliet." In bespeak to analyze the prologue, it is necessary to recognize its purpose and format, the denotation of every word and how the words create the definition of the piece as a whole.

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The purpose of the Prologue

Containing 14 of the most necessary lines in the play, the prologue of Shakespeare’s "Romeo and also Juliet" is among the most popular sonnets in shakespearean drama. Wilhelm Shakespeare provided the prologue in ~ the start of the tragedy to set the phase for the story to come. The phase directions indicate that the Chorus will recite the prologue; the “chorus” is a single actor, not a team of singers. The prologue develops the setup of the beat (Verona), introduces the major players (Montague and also Capulet families) and also their continuous feud v each other, speak of the doomed love between Romeo Montague and also Juliet Capulet and, finally, explains that the only means to prevent the fighting was with the deaths that both Romeo and also Juliet.



The Sonnet Form

Shakespeare composed the prologue of "Romeo and Juliet" in the kind of a shakespearean sonnet, which method that the prologue is a poem with 14 lines written in iambic pentameter. The sonnet additionally contains a certain rhyme plan (abab cdcd efef gg) and can be broken down right into three quatrains and a last rhyming couplet. In a shakespearean sonnet, the first quatrain gives introductory information, the 2nd quatrain elaborates ~ above the details offered in the first, the 3rd quatrain introduces conflict and shifts in ton or setup and the rhyming couplet at the finish concludes the poem.

Diction Analysis

A straightforward and yet necessary step in Shakespearean analysis is to recognize the denotation of Shakespeare"s diction. The prologue contains several indigenous that might leave reader guessing. For instance, the an initial line, “Two households, both alike in dignity,” simply method that this pat is about two households who space of equal status. “From ancient grudge rest to brand-new mutiny” introduces the current fighting that started with the old feud; likewise, “civil blood provides civil hand unclean” refers to the an excellent citizens of Verona who space fighting against each various other for factors unknown. Romeo and Juliet room born from the “fatal loins” of your parents, and also thus they room doomed to die. This template of death stretches right into the following lines through words like “misadventured" and "star-cross’d” -- both Romeo and also Juliet frequently seem regulated by fate and also not by logic.

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Foreshadowing

The prologue ends with a statement the foreshadows the ending before the play has actually begun: “And the continue of their parents’ fury / Which, yet their children end, nought might remove / Is now the two hours" traffic of ours stage.” In various other words, this two-hour-long play will display that the just thing that can stop the parents’ fighting to be the deaths of their children. Finally, the rhyming couplet in ~ the finish begs the audience to it is in patient and to pay attention to the play, because if they execute not quite obtain it indigenous the prologue’s explanation, the “toil” that the actors will surely clean up any kind of misunderstandings.


Elizabeth Jamison is a published writer, composition teacher and also PhD candidate specializing in rhetoric/composition. She stop a master's degree in English education from Georgia State University. With more than 15 year experience, she has actually been published in magazines and journals.


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