Page (1 of 4) Quotes: 1 2 3 4
How we cite the quotes:
Citations follow this format: (Act.Scene.Line). Line numbers correspond to the 2008 Norton edition of the play.
| Quote #1
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-cross'd lovers take their life;
Whole misadventured piteous overthrows
Do with their death bury their parents' strife.
The fearful passage of their death-mark'd love,
And the continuance of their parents' rage,
Which, but their children's end, nought 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. (Prologue)
In the Prologue, the Chorus (kind of like a narrator) suggests that "fate" will play a huge role in Romeo and Juliet's tragedy. According to the Chorus, Romeo and Juliet are "star-crossed" (as if stars control their destinies) and their love is "mark'd" by "death." The Chorus also suggests that Romeo and Juliet were destined for tragedy the moment they sprang from their parents' "fatal loins" (our emphasis), or from the moment they were born. In other words, we're led to believe that these poor kids don't have a chance.
| Quote #2
I fear, too early: for my mind misgives
Some consequence yet hanging in the stars
Shall bitterly begin his fearful date
With this night's revels and expire the term
Of a despised life closed in my breast
By some vile forfeit of untimely death.
Just before Romeo heads over to the Capulet ball, where he falls in love with and meets (in that order) Juliet, he tells us that he has a funny felling – he fears that something "hanging in the stars" (something destined to happen) will be set in motion that night. Romeo's premonition seems to be in keeping with what the Chorus tells us in the Prologue (see above quote).
| Quote #3
JULIET (gesturing towards Romeo)
What's he that follows there, that would not dance?
I know not.
Go ask his name: if he be married.
My grave is like to be my wedding bed.
Juliet foreshadows her own death – her grave does become her wedding bed.