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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: February ::
Re: R&J Prologue
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.0299  Monday, 14 February 2000.

[1]     From:   Robert Hamilton <
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        Date:   Saturday, 12 Feb 2000 04:42:09 -0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.0296 Query on R&J Prologue

[2]     From:   Larry Weiss <
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        Date:   Saturday, 12 Feb 2000 14:59:13 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.0296 Query on R&J Prologue

[3]     From:   Edward Pixley <
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        Date:   Monday, 14 Feb 2000 10:35:28 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.0296 Query on R&J Prologue


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Robert Hamilton <
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Date:           Saturday, 12 Feb 2000 04:42:09 -0000
Subject: 11.0296 Query on R&J Prologue
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0296 Query on R&J Prologue

> I remember my college professor telling us that Shakespeare almost
> definitely did not write the Prologue to Act II and probably not the
> Prologue to Act I.
>
> >From what source might he have obtained such an opinion?

Not really to the point of the question, but in general defence of the
Sonnet Prologues in R&J.

The prologue to Act One is surely necessary, as otherwise the audience
(unless they already knew the story) would assume that they were
watching a comedy, and become somewhat distressed as the play shifted
direction in Act Three.

The sonnet background is heaviest in the earlier part of the play, with
Romeo's original characterisation as a Petrarchist lover, and the sonnet
dialogue between him and Juliet at the Capulet's feast.  After Act Two,
this is not nearly so prominent, so no more sonnet prologues.

And are Prologues always (or even often) to be identified with authorial
stance?  Surely prologues and choric figures generally in Shakespeare
give a limited if not distorted view of the action which we as audience
experience?

The onus would seem to be on the prosecution here to bring forward
evidence that these parts of the play aren't by Shakespeare.

As an aside, was the phrase "star-crossed lovers" a clich

 

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