Essay on Prologue of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

628 Words3 Pages
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life. . . . The prologue to the play is indeed portrayed in a fourteen-line sonnet, perhaps not seen by the casual reader. When first glancing at the prologue within a book, one may not notice that it is in fact a sonnet. The prologue does indeed have fourteen lines, an ABAB rhyme pattern within the first three quatrains and a CC couplet at the end, and the poem also falls under the category of iambic pentameter1. The previous description makes this sonnet an English sonnet; yet, having any type of sonnet represent the prologue seems quite strange upon first glance for the reason of what topics sonnets usually cover. Within this particular sonnet, there is a great deal of talk about killing, such as in line four with “civil blood makes civil hands unclean,” strife as in line eight, and death as in lines eight and nine instead of speaking about a god- or goddess-like beloved and pursuit of love with him or her. However, even with that gaping difference, a sonnet is very fitting to open the play on another level. Romeo and Juliet did fall in love, but their love serves as an example of the unrequited love that is mentioned in sonnets. The couple never achieved their goal of having a happy life together, as is usually the case in the courtly love of the sonnet; as of “sonnet 18” an also part of Shakespeare’s majestic work. Sonnet 18 is conveyed through its monologue to be a sonnet which emphasises courtly love through its youthful wooing for the lovers heart. The quote “when in eternal lines to time thou grow’st”- further inclines the idea of youth through the grafting metaphor ("eternal lines") used to also state the possibility of an immortal and everlasting love. This kind of love is perplexed in the irony of the very short but very powerful relationship experienced by romeo
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