The prologue serves undoubtedly to welcome and introduce the player to the play. From the chorus, we get to understand the setting of the play and some information about the characters. The prologue contains a much deeper meaning than just introducing the audience to the play, it tells of how the play will be and what will happen in the play. The prologue talks of a couple with “star-crossed” who take their lives.
“Star-crossed” meant against the stars and in the past, the stars were believed to control the destiny of humans, therefore, going against the stars is an indicator that the main actors, Romeo and Juliet will die before the play ends. This, therefore, makes the audience watch the play expectantly as they confirm whether what was in the prologue will be fulfilled. The prologue also introduces to the reader the hostility which exists between the parents of the lovers who after their children have died because of love still decide to bury their animosity. This prologue introduces what true love is to the audience, the message it portrays is that true love conquers all until death.
The play by Shakespeare is a very exciting one. The part which is found very interesting is where Romeo kills himself because he thought that Juliet is dead and Juliet wakes up and kills herself because Romeo is dead. The parents of Romeo and Juliet were always against their love but their dead brought them together in mourning.
Previously, Romeo had had an argument with Juliet’s cousins, Tybalt and accidentally killed him in the process. This led to his expulsion from Verona and he had to flee to Mantua. While away, Juliet is being pressured by her parents to get married. Juliet is in love with Romeo and would not marry anyone apart from him but their families, the Capulets and Montagues are enemies.
To escape being forced to marriage with Paris, Friar Laurence, the man who wed them in secret advises Juliet to take sleeping pills which will indicate that she had died, meanwhile she writes a letter to Romeo detailing her plans. Unfortunately, the letter does not Romeo and when he comes back, he is disturbed about the alleged death of Juliet and takes his life beside the empty coffin of Juliet. When Juliet wakes up and finds that Romeo is dead, she takes Rome’s sword, unsheathes it and takes her life using the sword (Shakespeare, 137). This scene is a case of true love which not even death could keep them apart.
- Shakespeare, William. Romeo and Juliet. Cambridge University Press, 2003.