Gary Taylor, John Jowett, Terri Bourus, and Gabriel Egan (eds), The New Oxford Shakespeare: Modern Critical Edition

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Sc. 11.0The Prologue

[Enter Chorus]
Editor’s Note Link 1

chorus Two households both alike in dignity

2    In fair Verona, where we lay our scene

Editor’s Note3From ancient grudge, break to new mutiny,

Editor’s Note4    Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.

Editor’s Note5From forth the fatal loins of these two foes

Editor’s Note6    A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life,

pg 10027Whose misadventured piteous overthrows

8    Doth with their death bury their parents' strife.

9The fearful passage of their death-marked love

10    And the continuance of their parents' rage—

Editor’s Note11Which but their children's end, naught could remove—

Editor’s Note12    Is now the two-hours' traffic of our stage;

13The which if you with patient ears attend,

Editor’s Note14What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend.


Notes Settings


Editor’s Note
1.1 Chorus Conventionally dressed in a black cloak. Modern productions often double the chorus with another character.
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1.3 mutiny strife, discord
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1.4 civil blood … civil blood spilt in communal domestic conflict … civilized, polite
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1.5 fatal bringing evil destiny
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1.6 star-crossed thwarted by the adverse influence of the stars
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1.11 but except for
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1.12 traffic business
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1.14 What here shall miss what won't be understood from this (the Prologue)
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1.14 our (i.e. the actors')
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