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A prologue is an introduction before a work, and an epilogue is a summary after the work.
A prologue is an introduction. Usually it will establish the background to the story, or provide important information that occurs before the story starts. Sometimes the prologue summarizes the play. For example, the prologue to Romeo and Juliet explains that the two lovers meet a tragic end.
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 prologue lets the audience know what to expect ahead of time, but does not tell the whole story, so there are still plenty of surprises.
An epilogue tells what happens after the story ends. Sometimes it explains what happens to characters, or resolves the unresolved conflicts. It ties up the loose ends for readers, or allows the author to interject thoughts.
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Prologue is a separate introductory section of a literary or musical work. It is usually the introduction to the book or play. Epilogue is a section or speech at the end of a book or play that serves as a comment on or a conclusion to what has happened.
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