ROMEO AND JULIET - PROLOGUE
The which if you with patient ears attend,
What here shall miss (9), our toil shall strive to mend (10).
Romeo + Juliet Opening
ROMEO AND JULIET
1. dignity: rank.
2. mutiny: strife, rebellion against law and order.
3. civil blood: the blood of civil strife.
4. civil hands: citizens' hands. The repeated use of the word "civil" creates an irony: the citizens of Verona should be civil—respectful and civilized—, but they are the opposite.
5. star-cross'd: thwarted (. to oppose successfully; prevent from accomplishing a purpose, to frustrate or baffle a plan, purpose) by the
6. misadventured: caused by bad luck.
7. passage: progress, from beginning to end.
8. traffic: business. The phrase "two hours' traffic" poses a puzzle. On the modern stage, the full text of the play cannot be done in two
hours; does this mean that it was cut in Shakespeare's time, or that Shakespeare's actors spoke very fast?
9. miss: miss the mark.
10. mend: repair. This line seemed to suggest that the play or the acting could be revised for the next performance.