1 Two households, both alike in dignity,
2 In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
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-crossed lovers take their life;
7 Whose misadventured piteous overthrows
8 Doth with their death bury their parents’ strife.
9 The fearful passage of their death-marked love,
10 And the continuance of their parents’ rage,
11 Which, but their children’s end, nought could remove,
12 Is now the two hours’ traffic of our stage;
13 The which if you with patient ears attend,
14 What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend.
In the beautiful city of Verona, where our story takes place, a long-standing hatred between two families erupts into new violence, and citizens stain their hands with the blood of their fellow citizens. Two unlucky children of these enemy families become lovers and commit suicide. Their unfortunate deaths put an end to their parents’ feud. For the next two hours, we will watch the story of their doomed love and their parents’ anger, which nothing but the children’s deaths could stop. If you listen to us patiently, we’ll make up for everything we’ve left out in this prologue onstage.
Download: Romeo & Juliet Prologue