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Prologue


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Original Text

Modern Translation

 

Enter CHORUS

The CHORUS enters.

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CHORUS
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-crossed lovers take their life,
Whose misadventured piteous overthrows
Doth with their death bury their parents’ strife.
The fearful passage of their death-marked love
And the continuance of their parents’ rage,
Which, but their children’s end, naught 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.

CHORUS
In lovely Verona, Italy, where the play is set, an age-old feud between two noble families of equal stature breaks out once more into violence, causing citizens to stain their hands with the blood of other citizens. Two ill-fated children of these families fall in love. Thwarted by an unfortunate series of events, the lovers commit suicide. Their terrible deaths end the feud between the families. For the next two hours on this stage, you will see the story of the lovers’ doomed romance, as well as their parents’ feud, which nothing but their childrens’ death could end. If you listen patiently to our performance, the details left out in this prologue will be shown onstage.

 

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