You are here:

Literature/Prologue #1 Romeo and Juliet


QUESTION: Hello!  In the last two lines of the first prologue in Romeo and Juliet,what does the chorus ask of the audience in the last two lines and why would they ask them that?

ANSWER: Hello again,

Again, this question should be easy to answer.

As you can see when you click on the Prologue in the link I gave you, the No Fear edition translates these lines:

"The which if you with patient ears attend,
What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend."


"If you listen to us patiently, we'll make up
for everything we've left out in this prologue onstage."

It means that if you read or watch the play carefully, everything that is described in the prologue *and* everything that the prologue leaves out, will be explained in the play itself.

- Tue Sorensen

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: BUT, Why do they say that?

Why they say it? Well, because it was customary to have a prologue that summed up the action of the play. And since the author can't explain everything in a short prologue, he reassures the audience by telling them that everything will be made clear in the play. It's a way of keeping the audience's attention.

- Tue Sorensen


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Tue Sorensen


I am an authority on the complete works of Shakespeare, and can answer any questions relating to his plays, poetry and life. I specialize in interpretation, double-meanings and translation into modern language.


I was a top-rated Allexperts expert on this same subject several years ago.

Former member of the Danish Shakespeare Society, as well as an active participant in the scholarly SHAKSPER mailing list.

Three years of studying English literature at the University of Aarhus, Denmark

©2017 All rights reserved.