Act 2, Prologue and Scene 1

The Chorus delivers another short sonnet describing the new love between Romeo and Juliet: the hatred between the lovers’ families makes it difficult for them to find the time or place to meet and let their passion grow; but the prospect of their love gives each of them the power and determination to elude the obstacles placed in their path.

The prologue tells us that Romeo’s old love is dead, “Old desire doth in his death bed lie,”  but that a new love is born, “Young affection gapes to be his heir.”

We are told that he and Juliet are “bewitched by the charm of looks,” and because they are foes it is going to be a forbidden love. “Tempering extremities with extreme sweet,” showing both the danger and sweetness of falling in love with an enemy.

After leaving the feast, Romeo decides that he cannot go home. He instead goes off in search of Juliet. He climbs a wall, which leads into the Capulet orchard, a very dangerous thing to do, as if he is caught, he will be punished severely. Mercutio and Benvolio call out for Romeo and think that he is still sulking over Rosaline. He leaps over the wall and disappears, leaving Benvolio and Mercutio behind. ( Again showing his rash decision making and impetuous nature)

Dramatic Irony is used in this scene as his two friends think that Romeo is still besotted with Rosaline and have no idea about Juliet. 

Benvolio knows that Romeo doesn’t want to be found, “To seek him there that means not to be found.”

Questions:

  1. Why does Romeo jump over the wall?
  2. Why does Benvolio think that Romeo has disappeared?
  3. Why do you think Shakespeare uses dramatic irony in the play?
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