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Shakespeare

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We are learning about Romeo and Juliet. And its my first time learning about them. And Im just wondering about the literature that Shakepeare uses, like its so strong and so different from the literature of today.
I have a few general questions on it, I would really like to know why he has a Prologue in the starting of his plays? Is it sort of like a trailer for the audience?
Also how come Montague and Capulet do not like one another, I don't get it, they are kind of like rivals.

These lines are really important of the prologue:

A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life;
Whole misadventured piteous overthrows

Why is this line so important? Cause it points out how tragic the play is? What emotions are involved?

Also this line is also very important, The Prince is saying this to Montague and Capulet when they fight on the streets for the third time.

"If you ever disturb our streets again, Your lives shall pay for the forfeit of the peace."

How come this line is known as one of the important ones?

  • Shakespeare -

    This is the best site in the world for reading Shakespeare's plays. You'll find for each play both the original version and a modern-English version. Wonderful!
    http://nfs.sparknotes.com/

    And this one, too: http://www.sparknotes.com/shakespeare/

    A really good one for understanding R&J.
    http://www.canadianshakespeares.ca/rjfolio.cfm <~~interactive Romeo & Juliet

    Other websites to put in your favorites (bookmarks) for current and future use.
    http://shakespeare.palomar.edu/

    http://absoluteshakespeare.com/index.htm

    http://www.bardweb.net/

    http://www.shakespeare-online.com/

    And literary criticism:
    http://www.ipl.org/div/litcrit/bin/litcrit.out.pl?au=sha-9

    Your comments and questions above are very insightful, and you should have a wonderful time reading and enjoying these plays.

    Yes, the beginning is like a prologue in a way. Shakespeare does something like this in every one of his plays.

    The two families in this play have a long-standing feud going -- and the "star-crossed" is referring to this feud and that Romeo and Juliet come from these feuding families. It is unthinkable to their fathers that either would fall in love with a rival's daughter or son.

    Enjoy the play!

  • Shakespeare -

    Thanks those websites are great:)
    COuld I know why this line is so important?

    "If you ever disturb our streets again, Your lives shall pay for the forfeit of the peace."

  • Shakespeare -

    It's a form of foreshadowing -- a way to let us know where all this is going.

    After you read the whole play, come back to this line, and it'll make perfect sense.

  • Shakespeare -

    Oh alright, thank you Writeacher:D

  • Shakespeare -

    here is a modern example of a prologue:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCiTaknz5MY

  • Shakespeare -

    Oh sweet, thanks bobpursely for the modern prologue example:)

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