What does this passage from Romeo and Juliet mean? The fearful passage of their death-mark’d love and the continuance of their parents’ rage

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malibrarian | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

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This is from the opening Prologue of Act I, wherein the Chorus actually tells the audience right from the start what the play is about and how it will end. To really understand those lines, though, I would suggest reading them in context with the two lines that follow them:

"The fearful passage of their death-mark'd love,
And the continuance of their parents' rage,
Which, but their children's end, nought could remove,
Is now the two hours' traffic of our stage..."

The Chorus tells us that we're going to hear a story about two "star-crossed lovers," Romeo and Juliet, who are doomed to die as a result of the feud between their two families, and that only "their children's end" (their deaths) could get the Capulets and the Montagues to stop fighting.

Check the link below for more information.  Good luck!

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