February 26

“…the two hours’ traffic of our stage.”

Tonight, you will do some additional analysis about word choice in the prologue of Romeo and Juliet, but first please do the following activity. You will need your copy of the prologue and three different colored pens or three highlighters.

  1. With one color, underline all words having to do with love.
  2. With a second color, underline all words having to do with hate or fighting.
  3. With a third color, underline all words having to do with two or pairs.

Once you have completed this activity, please write an analysis of your findings by answering the following question:

In the Prologue, what relationship does Shakespeare establish between love and hate and the number or idea of two? How do his specific word choices illustrate this relationship? Use evidence from the text to support your answer.

R&J blog #1


Copyright © 2018. All rights reserved.

Posted February 26, 2019 by equinson in category Romeo and Juliet

32 thoughts on ““…the two hours’ traffic of our stage.”

  1. Mikayla Friedman

    After completing this activity, I had underlined a few words about the idea of a pair, but I had a lot of underlined words about hate and fighting compared to very little words about love. This leads me to believe that although this play is about love, there will be much hatred and fighting, and ultimately death. I think Shakespeare is conveying the idea that love and hate are dependent on one another. They usually do not coexist, but love can end with hate, or hate can end with love. In this play, hatred exists, but despite this hatred Romeo and Juliet love each other. When they die, the families’ hatred for each other ends, so you could say that the love ended the hate. An example of word choice of this relationship is, “A pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life; Do with their death bury their parents’ strife.” This passage means that the death of Romeo and Juliet made such an impact on their families that they no longer hated each other, or whatever the reason that made them hate each other in the first place was abandoned. Shakespeare also mentions pairs in the Prologue. There are two households, to families, a pair of lovers, etc. I find it interesting that the pairs applies to both Romeo and Juliet and to the two families. I am not sure how the idea of pairs will continue to show itself in the play, but I am sure that love and hate, or love versus hate, will be a main theme of Romeo and Juliet.

    Reply
    1. Maddie

      This is a great analysis of what we’ve read so far! I agree that hate can end with love and vice versa. I also am not sure what the meaning of pairs is in this play, but hopefully we will figure it out. Great job!

      Reply
  2. Maddie

    In the prologue of “Romeo and Juliet”, Shakespeare creates a relationship between love and hate. He explains how two families have a withstanding grudge that draw them apart. Though there is a hateful relationship between the two families, Romeo and Juliet love each other. This shows that even through hate, people can still love each other. I think that in the line that says, “Whose misadventured piteous overthrows Do with their death bury their parents strife.” means that the death of Romeo and Juliet ends the ongoing grudge between the two families. This further shows that a true act of love can end of fix an act of hate. As you may have noticed, the idea of the number two, or pairs, also comes into play during the prologue. There are two households, two families, two lovers, and the play is two hours long. Even through deeper analysis of the prologue, I am not sure what this idea of pairs is supposed to mean. However, It may continue to show itself as I read the play, and I will get a better understanding of the true meaning of words having to do with pairs.

    Reply
    1. Emma Garbowitz

      I agree with the idea that love can end something based off of pure hatred. This is a great analysis of the prologue and I thought very similarly to the way you thought too!

      Reply
    2. trinityt

      I agreed with your response as I thought similarly to yours. Of course there are more hate words than love words in the prologue, however, that doesn’t mean love is impossible.

      Reply
  3. Emma Garbowitz

    In the Prologue, Shakespeare establishes a clear relationship between love and hate and the idea of the number two. With love and hate, Shakespeare goes to show that love is more powerful than hate. For example, the only thing to break the feud between the two families was when Romeo and Juliet, their children killed themselves. Each family loved their child so much that they ended their feud for their children. The text states, “And the continuance of their parents’ rage, Which, but their children’s end, nought could remove.” This quote shows how the only thing to end the feud was the love for their children. Obviously, because of this, love overpowers hate because it it the stronger force. However, I believe that love and hate can end each other depending on the situation. In this case, love over powers hate but in a different situation, someone’s hate can be much more powerful than their love for something else. Also, Shakespeare mentions pair and the number two a lot. I think this is because both Romeo and Juliet’s families have many similar characteristics although they have their differences with each other. For example, both families are of the same social class. They may be rich, or they may be poor but they are similar In that aspect. Second of all, both of the families have a rebellious child who loves someone from the opposite family. Lastly, both of the families love their children so much to the point that they would do anything for them, including ending the feud. This connects the theme of pairs along with love and hate and brings everything together. Therefore, Shakespeare has many relationships comparing pairs, love and hate.

    Reply
    1. Kate Ma.

      That is an interesting idea that both families have various similarities yet hate each other. I haven’t thought of that.

      Reply
  4. Kate Ma.

    While doing this activity I realized that I have more hatred words then I do loving words underlined. A few terms of hatred I underlined were grudge,blood, fatal, foes, piteous and rage. I was only able to find about two or three words having a positive/ love meaning. From this prologue, it is clear that Shakespeare conveys foreshadowing of major ideas, like love and hate. This sonnet gives major insight to the plot, yet it’s obvious that love and hate are going to bet the major themes. The prologue speaks of a rivalry between two families and “the continuance of their parents’ rage”. Shakespeare’s use of the word mutiny shows the relationship between both love and hate. Mutiny is defined as a group rebelling against a figure of authority. In this case, the rebels are Juliet and Romeo and the authorities are their parents. Romeo and Juliet’s love will have to surpass the hatred that their parents feel about one another.

    Reply
  5. Emily

    After completing this activity of underling and analyzing the prologue, I noticed many important things, the most crucial being the abundance of words about hate and fighting, and also the small amount of words about love. From these observations I have been able to come to the conclusion that Shakespeare’s use of more negative words is foreshadowing to the rest of the book. We already know that it will be a tragedy, but the use of words such as “death-mark’d”, “ancient grudge” and “mutiny” only reinforce this idea. Furthermore, Shakespeare is establishing the concept of how the love between the pair is always tainted by death and fighting. In the rare instances of love, the readers see how it is preceded by words of misfortune. In one particular example, the relationship between the two lovers is, “death-mark’d love”. The love between these two lovers has always been present and it is everlasting, but with that in mind, it was always tainted by the lingering message of death.

    Reply
    1. Mikayla Friedman

      It never even crossed my mind that the love is tainted by hatred! That’s a really interesting concept, especially how it seems that Shakespeare never mentions love without death/hate. Good job on the analysis!!

      Reply
  6. jane

    From further analyzing the prologue, I think Shakespeare is trying to say that true love and true hatred take two people. Shakespeare compares love and hate as being foils, or opposites. Love and hatred are so different from each other, that their differences compared side by side can bring out their similarities. Throughout the prologue, Shakespeare continuously uses different words and phrases, which bring up the ideas of love, hate, and two things, such as saying, “A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life;”, or “Do with their death bury their parents’ strife.” Shakespeare says that two lovers kill themselves, and because of their death, their parents stop hating each other. I believe Shakespeare’s wording and placement of different phrases show the reader how significant the relationship between two people can be. You can have love, or hatred. But the two feelings need two people to have their full effect. Meaning that Shakespeare is saying that you can’t experience true love unless the person you love loves you back. The same with hatred. Shakespeare says that the experience of hatred and love, are real only when two people feel the same.

    Reply
    1. MadiR

      I agree that love and hatred both take to people to create and you back this concept up with evidence very well in your analysis.

      Reply
  7. Hannah M.

    Analyzing this prologue is what makes this play very intesresting. It shows how love has an effect on things and what it causes people to do. In the play, “Romeo and Juliet” the line “Whose misadventured piteous overthrows Do with their death bury their parents strife.” caught my eye. This is because analyzing it was very interesting. This line means that Rome and Juliets unlucky and pitiful death breaks the grudge held by both families towards one another. This shows the concept of how strong love can be and what it does to people. Their love was strong enough that when they died it fixed the ongoin fights between their families.

    Reply
  8. Laila

    After looking over the prologue of Romeo and Juliet, I was left to find that there are far more hateful words than words of love. I believe Shakespeare decided to keep a strong theme of hatred in the prologue to foreshadow or to set the stage for the tone of the story. I found it very interesting that Romeo and Juliet is known as this classic love story, yet there is so much hatred involved with this. I think this goes to show and Shakespeare was trying to prove that wherever there is love, there is bound to be hatred. Even though these two feelings are complete opposites, they may be found in the same places, just like between Romeo and Juliet. Even though Romeo and Juliet love one another, their families hate on another. In a way, it shows that hatred and love are linked. Also, since Romeo and Juliet is a classic love story, there is such a lack of love words. Maybe Shakespeare is trying to convey a theme that even the slightest amount of love can override any amount of hate.

    Reply
  9. Brishti

    After doing this activity, I noticed that the words relating to hatred outnumber the words that have to do with love. Shakespeare most likely did this to show how this play is not a love story, but rather a true tragedy. Moreover, the fact that this also has to do with pairs shows how love and hate do not exist seperately, but rather as a pair of opposites. As I thought about this further, however, I realized that hate is more like the absence of love, much like how darkness is an absence of light. This also made me think about balance, and if love and hate exist to balance out one another, like how shadows also balance out light. Romeo and Juliet are described as “A pair of star-crossed lovers”, because their parents hold a grudge that dates back an extremely long time. When they both killed themsleves, that tragedy overruled the hatred between the two families, where new love bloomed in the wake of their death. It said, “The fearrful passage of their death mark’d love”, which again, shows the balance between love and hate, and how it comes in pairs.

    Reply
  10. caseyz

    In the prologue, there are far more words relating to hate and fighting rather than love. I think that this shows that love doesn’t come without hate. It also shows that love leads to hate and hate leads to love. The prologue explains how Romeo and Juliet were “A pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life; Whose misadventur’d piteous overthrows, Do with their death bury their parents’ strife.” Romeo and Juliet’s families have hated each other for a long time, which lead to them eventually falling in love. At the end when they both die, they end up ending their parents’ hatred and conflict.

    Reply
    1. Zoe

      I didn’t think about it, but you’re right, there are a lot more words about hate than love. I definitely think this is because, in the end, it’s a tragedy and hate rules out love ending in the death of many characters. Great analysis!

      Reply
  11. Zoe

    After circling the words in the prologue, I understood better answers to the analysis questions. In the prologue, Shakespeare creates a relationship between love and hate using “star-crossed lovers” from feuding families. Although there is love between the couple, the families still share a hatred anyway. The idea of two is also introduced where there are two different families with an old grudge into a new mutiny and each has a daughter/son who dares to rebel against their leaders. Two families and two lovers. Specific words and phrases such as “ancient grudge break to new mutiny”, “star-crossed lovers”, and “two foes” helped illustrate this to the audience. The ancient grudge sets up the background and establishes hatred that has already been created between the families and the new mutiny describes each family starting another fight of who should gain power. Star-crossed lovers describe the whole relationship between Romeo and Juliet and their love and two foes describes the amount that carries throughout the story (2).

    Reply
  12. Hannah Pitkofsky

    In the prologue of Romeo and Juliet, one of the main things that repeat constantly throughout the prologue is the themes of war, love, and the number 2. In the beginning, it mentions the fighting going on between Romeo’s and Juliet’s families before the events of the play take place. Harsh words/phrases are used to describe these events such as: “mutiny”, “civil blood makes civil hands unclean”, “fatal loins”, “foes”, “strife”, and “parents’ rage”. On the other hand, there are only two mentions in the sonnet that describe love: “a pair of star-cross’d lovers” and “death-mark’d love”. Throughout the rest of the sonnet, it talks mainly about their parents, even though Romeo and Juliet are the main characters of the play. Another thing that pops up numerous times throughout the prologue is the number 2. In the sonnet, Shakespeare uses the number two in an interesting way, using it to describe the war between the families, but also describe the love between Romeo and Juliet that develops throughout the events of the play. Shakespeare also hints that the play is about 2 hours long as well, which might also have some importance in the number 2 as described throughout the prologue of Romeo and Juliet.

    Reply
  13. trinityt

    After completing the activity above, I noticed that there are many words related to hate/fighting, while there are as few as two terms related to love. This creates a relationship of hate vs. love. Shakespeare is describing the grudge between two families. However, even with all this hate going on, Romeo and Juliet still love each other. The line that said, “Whose misadventured piteous overthrows Do with their death bury their parents’ strife.” means that, even though their deaths is sad to both sides, Romeo’s and Juliet’s deaths ends the grudge that was between the two families. This shows that an act of true love can overcome such hate.
    The idea of two/pair also came into play in the prologue. I noticed that there are two households, two families, two lovers (a pair of lovers), and the play is two hours long as well. I don’t really know what the theme of the number two, or pair, is yet, but I’m looking forward to find out more about it as I read more about the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet.

    Reply
  14. johnh1

    While annotating I noticed how the number two was close to whenever there was hate and love. The families are two parties that absolutely despise each other. However, in contrast Romeo and Juliet are two parties that love each other. The number two was mentioned relating to time but I think that just has to do with the time that someone will watch a play for. The number two is pretty significant but whenever the two parties whether they be Romeo and Juliet or the families they always effect a third party. In the case of Romeo and Juliet it can be a good thing. Their love stops the fighting between their families. However, with the families and their feud it is a violent thing. They end up starting riots on the streets where people are hurt. This seems to say that the emotions between two people have an effect on others and not just the people that the emotions are between.

    Reply
  15. MadiR

    After analyzing the prologue of “Romeo and Juliet” Shakespeare established a relationship between love, hate, and the idea of two or pairs. The relationship between the first two ideas is that love can always defeat hatred. The last idea of two or a pair connects to love and hatred because it takes two people or groups to start a war and often times it takes two people to end it. This is portrayed in the prologue. Shakespeare’s specific words choices illustrate the relationship between the three. The number “two” and “both” appear in the first line of the prologue. The reader then realizes that the prologue is dealing with two groups of people who are very alike but have a “grudge” between each other. Then the word “pair” appears right before Shakespeare introduces the pair as “star-crossed lovers”. These words relate and when highlighted and analyzed the reader notices how important the ideas of love, hate, and two or pairs really are.

    Reply
  16. josepha4

    After doing the activity of highlighting love and hate I observed that there are far more hateful words in the sonnet than positive ones. I came to the conclusion that this was foreshadowing and through the growing and abundant hatred and grudge of the family there is little love. But the love is strong but little mentioned because the its forbidden. This could also mean that there is no love without hatred. While the love is said to cease the fighting of the families there are riots and people end up hurt. I’m going to assume there will be multiple sadness and deaths within this play and they all tie together with love and hate needing to be in an equilibrium

    Reply
  17. maxwellw

    After finding words relating to what was asked above in Romeo and Juliet’s prologue I’ve made some observations. One such is that while there are two feuding houses that brought with them riots and violence, it’s contrasted with the two star-crossed lovers of Romeo and Juliet. I also noticed that while the first two expressions that had to do with fighting and hate between the houses, the third related word that to do with the fact that the only that could quell the raged described was in fact, love and how through death it still permeates.

    Reply
  18. stephaniec

    After reading the prologue to Romeo and Juliet, and finding words relating to love, hate, and pairs, I got an inside look on what may happen as we keep reading. For example, words relating to hatred and fighting were much more common than words relating to love, which makes sense given Rome and Juliet is a tragedy. In addition, a theme of pairs became evident in the prologue. There are two households, two families, and two people in love. I think that as we continue reading the play there will be themes of hatred, love, and pairs. However, I think the theme of hatred and fighting may be more evident throughout the play than the others.

    Reply
  19. Myles Ng

    I believe that the two emotions in the sonnet cannot exist without a pair. For love something must love something else, making it a pair. For hate you need someone to feel the hate at something else, which is also a pair. “A pair of star-cross’d lovers” The relationship that Shakespeare established between love and hate is that hate is a stronger emotion, even with the love and death of the families kids they still continue to hate each other, thus making love a less powerful emotion that hatred. The love between Romeo and Juliet ended when one of them died, this is because the pair was broken. If one of the feuding families disappeared the hatred would stop because the pair would be broken.

    Reply
  20. angelicac1

    After completing this activity, I noticed how whenever there would be a line mentioning love and hate, the number two would be somehow involved. There were two families that were enemies that hated each other opposed to Romeo and Juliet, two people that loved each other. Romeo and Juliet are one group and both families are another group and together, there are two groups that are having different effects on each other because of their own two emotions, love and hatred.

    Reply
  21. Sunna

    After I completed this activity, I realized that Shakespeare uses for negative language rather than positive language. He seems to be focusing a lot more of the tragedy aspect of this story, rather than the love part of it. This made me wonder if this was foreshadowing for the tragedy that would soon happen. This also makes me think that Shakespeare is saying that love sometimes leads to tragedy. For example, the text states, “A pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life; Whose misadventur’d piteous overthrows, Do with their death bury their parents’ strife.” Because of their love, tragedy occurred. However, this also ended their parents’ fighting, so perhaps Shakespeare is showing us that tragedy isn’t just a tragedy, that maybe it can lead to more.

    Reply
  22. Sophie

    In the prologue, Shakespeare uses the concepts of hate and love. Hate seemed to be much more prevalent in comparison to love. “Ancient grudge”, “fatal loins”, “misadventures piteous overthrown”, “death bury their parents strife”, and many more quotes all explain the plot of Romeo and Juliet in a negative/violent kind of way. On the other hand, there are much less love/happy words. I believe that this is because Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy play. Since the ending of the play ends with everybody dead, it is fitting to start off the play with a more dark prologue. That way, it sets the mood and tone while also giving the throughout summary of the play.

    Reply

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*