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The Prologue: A Deconstruction A closer look at Shakespeares poetic talent within his plays.

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Presentation on theme: "The Prologue: A Deconstruction A closer look at Shakespeares poetic talent within his plays."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Prologue: A Deconstruction A closer look at Shakespeares poetic talent within his plays

2 How to Deconstruct the Prologue: Read: A prologue is used in drama to give important background information and to outline the plot of the play before it begins. It is recited by the chorus. Shakespeares prologue doubles as a sonnet. A sonnet is a fourteen-line lyric poem with a particular rhyme scheme and a meter (or beat). It contains 3 quatrains (4-line stanzas) and one couplet (2-line summary). Quatrains introduce a subject and expands on it; the couplet sums it up. Do/answer the following: Determine the rhyme scheme (right-hand side). Number the 5 th and 10 th lines (left- hand side). Draw a rectangle around the first four lines – label it quatrain 1. Draw a rectangle around the next four lines – label it quatrain 2. Draw a rectangle around the next four lines – label it quatrain 3. Draw an oval around the last two lines – label it couplet. (1) How many lines are there total? (2) What does quatrain 1 explain? Paraphrase it. (3) What does quatrain 2 explain? Paraphrase it. (4) What does quatrain 3 explain? Paraphrase it. (5) What does the couplet instruct the audience to do? (6) How many syllables are in each line?

3 The Prologue 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-crossd lovers take their life; Whose misadventured piteous overthrows Doth with their death bury their parents strife. The fearful passage of their death-markd love, And the continuance of their parents rage, Which, but their childrens 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. The Prologue (My Own Words) ______________________________ ______________________________ ______________________________ ______________________________ ______________________________ ______________________________ ______________________________ Parallel Text Paraphrase: Put each of the 14 lines into your own words.

4 The Prologue Paraphrased: Quatrain 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.

5 The Prologue Paraphrased: Quatrain 2 From forth the fatal loins of these two foes A pair of star-crossd lovers take their life; Whose misadventured piteous overthrows Doth with their death bury their parents strife.

6 The Prologue Paraphrased: Quatrain 3 The fearful passage of their death-markd love, And the continuance of their parents rage, Which, but their childrens end, nought could remove, Is now the two hours traffic of our stage;

7 The Prologue Paraphrased: Couplet The which if you with patient ears attend, What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend.

8 Whats the Purpose of a Parallel Text?

9 Imagine… You are a groundling. You have come to see Shakespeares latest tragedy, Romeo & Juliet. The trumpets have sounded signaling the start of the play. The audience is hushed. As you wait for it to begin, you admire the craftsmanship of the Globe theater. And then, the chorus enters…


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