Romeo and Juliet: Prologue




           [Enter] CHORUS.

      Chorus
1. dignity: rank.
  1    Two households, both alike in dignity,
  2    In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
3. mutiny: strife, rebellion against law and order.
4. civil  . . .  civil:
5. fatal: ill-fated.
6. star-cross'd:
7. misadventured: unfortunate; caused by bad luck.
  3    From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
  4    Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
  5    From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
  6    A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life;
  7    Whose misadventured piteous overthrows
  8    Do with their death bury their parents' strife.
9. passage: progress, from beginning to end.
  9    The fearful passage of their death-mark'd love,
 10    And the continuance of their parents' rage,
 11    Which, but their children's end, nought could remove,
12. two hours' traffic:
 12    Is now the two hours' traffic of our stage;
 13    The which if you with patient ears attend,
14. miss: miss the mark | mend: repair. This line seems to suggest that the play could be revised for the next performance.
 14    What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend.

           [Exit.]