How does the prologue to Shakespeare’s 'Romeo and Juliet' prepare the audience for the play?
The prologue to Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet' prepares the audience by making a short summary of the play so it gets the audience thinking about what the story is about.
The prologue is a sonnet which is a 14 line poem, it is also known as an english, elizabethan sonnet which contains 3 quatrains and a rhyming couplet. A sonnet is usually a love poem and that is exactly what 'Romeo and Juliet' is about. The first quatrain of the sonnet is about the feud and conflict between the two families. Both of the families have the same status ' both alike in dignity' but they seem to be holding a 'grudge' against each other, we aren't told what causes the hate within the two houses but it is there and drags the households into fights this is particulaly shown in line 4 'where civil blood make civil hands unclean' the word 'blood' is meaning that death and injuries occur due to the feud the families have. 'Civil' is meant to mean poliet or fair which is a bit ironic since there isn't any politeness.
The second quatrain is about the lovers, Romeo and Juliet, and their deaths. 'From forth the fatal loins of these two foes' this line is saying that the two household enemies have produced a pair of lovers, this is mainly emphasised in the phrase ' fatal loins' this implies that these being in love is deadly and they are also involved with the feud of their parents. It also means that their fate has been decided and that death will be their destiny. The second line 'A pair of star cross'd lovers take their life” this is implying that the stars which is meaning their destinies, since they believed that stars told their destiny like horoscopes, so being star cross'd lovers means that their destinies are entwined but they are also against each other due to the feud. The last line of the second quatrain 'doth with their death bury their parents' strife' this shows that in order...
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