Jule Romans is a retired English teacher and also college instructor. She has taught Shakespeare and progressed literature for over 25 years.

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Follow in addition to this post to study three sonnets in Romeo and Juliet. This article will also provide a finish review of rhyme scheme and iambic pentameter.

The prologue come Romeo and also Juliet is the first sonnet the play.The dialogue that provides up the lovers' an initial kiss and the prologue come act II are additionally sonnets.


The Romeo and also Juliet Prologue: A Sonnet

Two households, both alike in dignity,In same Verona, whereby we lay our scene,From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,Where civil blood provides civil hand unclean.From soon the deadly loins that these 2 foesA pair the star-cross'd lover take their life;Whose misadventured piteous overthrowsDo with their fatality bury your parents' strife.The fearful passage of your death-mark'd love,And the continue of their parents' rage,Which, however their children's end, nought could remove,Is currently the 2 hours' web traffic of our stage;The i beg your pardon if you through patient ear attend,What right here shall miss, ours toil shall strive to mend.


The first Sonnet in Romeo and Juliet: Prologue come Act I

The prologue to Romeo and Juliet (Act I) is a sonnet.

The prologue come Romeo and also Juliet adheres to the 14 line, rhyming layout of a sonnet. That maintains iambic pentameter, another vital element of the sonnet. We can see that it has a light change of an interpretation in the last 2 lines. This is known as a "turn."

Let's simply take a watch at just how the sonnet breaks down on the page, climate we will certainly look in ~ the an interpretation of the words. Friend may notification the letters at the ends of each line. Those room the designations for the luck scheme. You will also an alert that the prologue is split into three stanzas, followed by a couplet.


Stanza 1

<1> 2 households, both alike in dignity, (A)<2> In fair Verona, whereby we lay our scene, (B) <3> From ancient grudge break to new mutiny, (A)<4> whereby civil blood renders civil hands unclean. (B)

The prologue opens up by saying the two good households in the city that Verona have actually a long-standing feud, that will soon an outbreak into violence.

Stanza 2

<5> From soon the deadly loins of these two foes (C)<6> A pair that star-cross'd lover take your life; (D)<7> who misadventured piteous overthrows (C)<8> execute with their fatality bury their parents' strife. (D)


The 2 feuding households both have actually children. Those children, Romeo and also Juliet, space fated to loss in love. That love leader to tragic occasions that spring from misadventures and also misunderstanding. The 2 young lovers will certainly die, and also ultimately finish their parents' fighting.

Stanza 3

< 9> The fearful passage of your death-mark'd love, (E)<10> and also the keep going of your parents' rage, (F)<11> Which, yet their children's end, nought might remove, (E)<12> Is now the two hours' web traffic of our stage; (F)

The prologue proceeds to describe that this play will show the story the these 2 lovers type beginning come end. It also says that the just thing that might end the fighting between the households is the death of Romeo and also Juliet.


Couplet and also Turn

<13> The i beg your pardon if you v patient ears attend, (G)<14> What below shall miss, our toil shall effort to mend. (G)

In the critical couplet, the meaning "turns" from talking abouthe content of the play to just how it will certainly be performed. This fits through the structure of a sonnet, where the last two lines change the meaning.

More about the Prologue

As was typical in Shakespeare's time, a single actor would certainly take the stage at the beginning of a performance and lay out the basics the the story the was to come. Many of the audience members would currently be acquainted with the story.

This prologue offered to focus attention and also prepare the crowd.The really beginning the the pat sets increase the action, and also even tells united state that the ending will it is in tragic. For a an ext detailed discussion, review a line by line analysis of the prologue to Romeo and Juliet.

Characteristics the a shakespearean Sonnet


Rhyme SchemeRhythmStructure

Stanza 1- ABAB

Iambic Pentameter

Four stanzas

Stanza 2- CDCD

10 syllables every line

Builds dramatic tension

Stanza 3- EFEF

unstressed-stressed pairs

One couplet

Final couplet- GG

5 bag of rate or "iambs"

Couplet changes meaning


Not sure what "Rhyme Scheme" is?

Don't worry. Here's a rapid tutorial.

Rhyme Scheme

End Rhymes

We space all acquainted with words that sound the exact same being provided at the ends of lines. We don't think of it that way, but that is every an end rhyme is- at the very least as far as this research goes. The "end rhyme" is any set of words at the finish of a line the sound the same.


The which, if you with patient ear ATTENDWhat right here shall miss, our toil shall shot to MEND


Simple, right? that course. But it can acquire much more complicated.

Rhyming Patterns

Sometimes, there will be 4 lines of city (or song) that rhyme in alternating lines. For example, we might say:

If i profane through my unworthiest HAND This divine shrine, the gentle fine is this my lips, two blushing pilgrims, all set STAND to smooth that unstable touch v a tender kiss

In this case, the native in all caps rhyme with each other. The indigenous in bolder print also rhyme. If us were come read an ext lines that this poem, us would easily run the end of means to show which native rhyme. We can't usage bold print and capital letters, it's as well complicated, also limited, and also it takes away from the poem. So, we usage letters to present which currently rhyme. There room plenty the letters, so we should be able to make them job-related for any poem we read.

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Rhyme Scheme

We usage letters in ~ the end of lines to present which lines rhyme through one another. Then we can start to see patterns:

If i profane v my unworthiest hand (A) This holy shrine, the gentle fine is this: (B) mine lips, 2 blushing pilgrims, ready stand (A) come smooth that stormy touch with a soft kiss.(B)

We want to have actually a name for this the sounds fancy, so we contact it happiness scheme. In the instance above, the group of lines has an ABAB happiness scheme.