May 11, 2015 Throughout years of education in writing, English teachers teach their students to attempt to capture their reader’s attention with the first paragraph or even the first sentence. If the reader’s attention is not captured, then the reader would not have an interest in reading the book. Shakespeare helps demonstrate this by trying to hook the reader in the prologue he wrote in Romeo and Juliet that is only fourteen lines long. This passage is very important to the play because of Shakespeare’s attempt to embrace not only the reader of his play, but the attending audience at performances. His unique way of foreshadowing the play in this superb introduction sets the perfect stage for engagement. The first prologue of the drama determines the plot and what is going to happen in the play. This helps the reader and audience watching the play understand key information about the plot. The production of Romeo and Juliet takes place in the city of Verona, Italy and is approximately two hours long. In Verona, there are two households who have an on-going rivalry. Specifically, the Montagues and the Capulets have had a tumultuous history. Despite centuries of fighting, their children, Romeo and Juliet fall in love. As lovers, not only are they dangerous to themselves, but they also cause doom to others. Their unfortunate suicides cause the end of their parent’s feud. Of course, a destiny welcomed by no one, especially parents. Shakespeare’s unique prologue is so explicit it basically tells the reader what is going to happen at the end of the book. It’s as if the reader is reading the last paragraph of a book. It ruins the excitement but it seemed to work for Shakespeare, as now Romeo and Juliet is world famous.
Characters such as the chorus, the families of the Montague’s and Capulet’s and the star-crossed lovers develop throughout the prologue. First, it demonstrates the role of the chorus. The responsibility of the chorus is not to talk to the characters in the play, but to set the scene of the production. They talk directly to the audience explaining what is going to happen in the play. The chorus is an example of Shakespeare incorporating aspects of Greek drama. Next, the Prologue introduces the two households of the same high class that have a rivalry. The conflict is so extreme that it even involves killing of the other residents. The audience also discovers a youth from each household falls in love with each other. Their love is forbidden and fate mainly influences their future. This foreshadowing, as an introduction of the characters and their legacy, sets the stage for one of the most famous love stories ever.
The theme of fate and figurative language can be solicited from the prologue of Romeo and Juliet. The audience knows that the story will end in tragedy due to fate from the beginning. The lover’s lives will end because of unluckiness. Showing that fate will determine their destinies, the chorus tells us these "star-crossed lover’s” relationship are “death-marked." Another strategy Shakespeare uses to maintain the…