Romeo and Juliet: Prologue

Before the beginning of the play, there is a prologue, which is told in the form of a sonnet, which outlines the theme of the play.

We are told that two noble households from Verona hold an “ancient grudge” that is the source of a conflict that is violent and often bloody.

We are also told that from these households, two “star-crossed” lovers will appear and that the story of their love and the trouble between the families will be the central theme of the play and that the two lovers will have to sacrifice their lives in order to bury the ancient grudge. We see that fate plays a huge role in the play and the lives of the two main characters.

Questions:

  1. What does the line, ‘from ancient grudge break to new mutiny,’ mean?
  2. What does the term ‘star-cross’d lovers’ mean?
  3. What is the only that can bury the strife mentioned in the prologue?
  4. ‘Is now the two hours’ traffick of our stage,’ what does this mean?
  5. Can you think of any famous feuds or grudges from real life?
  6. Why do you think the playwright gives away so much in the prologue?
  7. The sonnet is broken into three quatrains(1-4, 5-8, 9-12 and a rhyming couplet) For each quatrain, pick an image that stands out to you.
  8. What do you think are going to be the main sources of conflict in the play?
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