Act II - Prologue

Enter Chorus.

Now old desire doth in his deathbed lie,
And young affection gapes to be his heir;
That fair for which love groan'd for and would die,
With tender Juliet match'd, is now not fair.
Now Romeo is belov'd, and loves again,(5)
Alike bewitched by the charm of looks;
But to his foe suppos'd he must complain,
And she steal love's sweet bait from fearful hooks.
Being held a foe, he may not have access
To breathe such vows as lovers use to swear,(10)
And she as much in love, her means much less
To meet her new beloved anywhere;
But passion lends them power, time means, to meet,
Temp'ring extremities with extreme sweet.



  1. This "Alike" recalls the first prologue given to the audience ("Two houses both alike in dignity). However, this sonnet does not tell the audience how to look at the play the way the first sonnet did. Instead, it offers a very straight forward summary of the plot so far an introduction to the next section of the play. In this way it is both a literal prologue and literal sonnet.

    — Caitlin, Owl Eyes Staff
  2. This is the last full sonnet that occurs within the play. Throughout the remainder of the play, there are sonnet fragments in the form of quatrains or couplets. After Romeo and Juliet speak their perfect sonnet, the form cannot exist in its entirety again.

    — Caitlin, Owl Eyes Staff