Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life;
Whose misadventured piteous overthrows
Do with their death bury their parents’ strife.
The fearful passage of their death-mark’d love,
And the continuance of their parents’ rage,
Which, but their children’s end, nought could remove,
Is now the two hours’ traffic of our stage;
The which if you with patient ears attend,
What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend.
We discovered that the prologue to Romeo and Juliet is written in Iambic Pentameter, and we explored some reasons as to why Shakespeare may have chosen to do this.
Our next task is to translate this piece into our own words to make sure the meaning is clear. It holds clues to the events of the entire play, so is worth wrestling with.