The smart way to improve grades

Comprehensive & curriculum aligned

Affordable pricing from £10/month

Reading Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet (The Prologue)

In this worksheet, students explore the Prologue to Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet in order to understand its content and analyse the writer's craft.

'Reading Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet (The Prologue)' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 4

Curriculum topic:  Reading

Curriculum subtopic:  Set, Plot and Character Awareness

Difficulty level:  

down

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Firstly, read the Prologue to Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet'.

 

 

The Prologue

 

Scene - Verona; Mantua.

Enter Chorus.

 

CHORUS: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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-cross'd lovers take their life;

Whose misadventur'd piteous overthrows

Doth, with their death, bury their parents' strife.

The fearful passage of their death-mark'd love,

And the continuance of their parents' rage,

Which, but their children's end, naught 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.


 


Now go through the worksheet and answer the questions. If you need to read the Prologue again, you can do so by clicking on the Help button.

This Prologue takes place at the start of the play and outlines the basic plot. Why do you think Shakespeare included it?

To save the audience from having to watch the whole of the play if they had to leave the theatre early.

So the audience can decide whether or not they are interested in watching the play.

To grab the attention of the audience and emphasise the importance of fate in the play.

Where is the play set?

Verona

Venice

Vienna

The quotation below, taken from the prologue, tells the audience that the two fighting families are equal in wealth and power.

 

Find the missing words and write the sentence out in full.

 

Two ___________________________ dignity

What are the names of the two families? Tick two boxes.

 

(You may need to research this answer.)

Montague

Morenzo

Corelli

Capulet

Match these lines from the Prologue with their modern meanings:

 

Hover your mouse over the boxes to read them in full.

Column A

Column B

From ancient grudge break to new mutiny
The children from these feuding families
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean
An old feud causes new outbreaks of violence
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
Citizens of the same town are killing each other

What two things happen to these children, Romeo and Juliet? Choose the two correct answers.

They fall in love

They run away together

They kill themselves

They have an enormous fight

Which three quotations from the Prologue tell the audience that the lives of Romeo and Juliet were governed by fate (controlled by the stars)?

A pair of star-cross'd lovers

continuance of their parents' rage

forth the fatal loins

their death-mark'd love

ancient grudge break to new mutiny

What technique does Shakespeare use in the following line to make it stand out?

 

From forth the fatal loins of these two foes

 

Select the correct answer.

simile

onomatopoeia

alliteration

What does the following line mean? Select the correct answer.

 

Doth, with their death, bury their parents' strife.

The deaths of the children created further arguments.

The deaths of the children ended the feuding.

The deaths of the children caused the families to leave Verona.

How many lines does the Prologue have? What type of poem does this make it?

 

Choose the two correct answers.

14

15

13

a ballad

a sonnet

a haiku

  • Question 1

This Prologue takes place at the start of the play and outlines the basic plot. Why do you think Shakespeare included it?

CORRECT ANSWER
To grab the attention of the audience and emphasise the importance of fate in the play.
EDDIE SAYS
At the time Shakespeare wrote his play, theatre audiences were very different to those of today. Whereas we sit quietly in our seats waiting for the show to begin, the audience in the pit at The Globe theatre would be eating, talking and drinking, so the Prologue would need to grab the attention of the audience and signal that the play is ready to begin.
  • Question 2

Where is the play set?

CORRECT ANSWER
Verona
EDDIE SAYS
The play is set in Verona, Italy; 'In fair Verona where we lay our scene'.
  • Question 3

The quotation below, taken from the prologue, tells the audience that the two fighting families are equal in wealth and power.

 

Find the missing words and write the sentence out in full.

 

Two ___________________________ dignity

CORRECT ANSWER
Two households, both alike in dignity
Two households, both alike in dignity,
EDDIE SAYS
The correct quotation is: Two households, both alike in dignity
  • Question 4

What are the names of the two families? Tick two boxes.

 

(You may need to research this answer.)

CORRECT ANSWER
Montague
Capulet
EDDIE SAYS
The two feuding families are: The Montagues and the Capulets.
  • Question 5

Match these lines from the Prologue with their modern meanings:

 

Hover your mouse over the boxes to read them in full.

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

From ancient grudge break to new ...
An old feud causes new outbreaks ...
Where civil blood makes civil han...
Citizens of the same town are kil...
From forth the fatal loins of the...
The children from these feuding f...
EDDIE SAYS
1. "From ancient grudge break to new mutiny" = An old feud causes new outbreaks of violence.

2."Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean" = Citizens of the same town are killing each other.

3. "From forth the fatal loins of these two foes" = The children from these feuding families.
  • Question 6

What two things happen to these children, Romeo and Juliet? Choose the two correct answers.

CORRECT ANSWER
They fall in love
They kill themselves
EDDIE SAYS
Romeo and Juliet fall in love and kill themselves at the end of the play. This is shown in these two lines:

"A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life"

"The fearful passage of their death-mark'd love"

  • Question 7

Which three quotations from the Prologue tell the audience that the lives of Romeo and Juliet were governed by fate (controlled by the stars)?

CORRECT ANSWER
A pair of star-cross'd lovers
forth the fatal loins
their death-mark'd love
EDDIE SAYS
The words 'star-cross'd', 'fatal' and 'death-mark'd' all suggest that Romeo and Juliet were powerless to control their destiny.
  • Question 8

What technique does Shakespeare use in the following line to make it stand out?

 

From forth the fatal loins of these two foes

 

Select the correct answer.

CORRECT ANSWER
alliteration
EDDIE SAYS
Shakespeare uses alliteration on the 'f' sound.
  • Question 9

What does the following line mean? Select the correct answer.

 

Doth, with their death, bury their parents' strife.

CORRECT ANSWER
The deaths of the children ended the feuding.
EDDIE SAYS
It means that the deaths of the children ended the feuding.
  • Question 10

How many lines does the Prologue have? What type of poem does this make it?

 

Choose the two correct answers.

CORRECT ANSWER
14
a sonnet
EDDIE SAYS
The prologue has 14 lines and is a sonnet. This is a poetry form commonly associated with love which reflects the over-riding theme of the play.
---- OR ----

Sign up for a £1 trial so you can track and measure your child's progress on this activity.

What is EdPlace?

We're your National Curriculum aligned online education content provider helping each child succeed in English, maths and science from year 1 to GCSE. With an EdPlace account you’ll be able to track and measure progress, helping each child achieve their best. We build confidence and attainment by personalising each child’s learning at a level that suits them.

Start your £1 trial

Start your trial for £1