The prologue in Romeo and Juliet has been performed in dramatically different ways throughout history, but it cannot be denied that the prologue creates an ominous beginning that foreshadows the doom that will occur throughout the play. The mood is somber and grave, with the narrator proclaiming, "From ancient grudge break to new mutiny, / Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean" (Romeo and Juliet, I.I, 2-3). From the beginning, the audience and reader are aware the play will involve death, deception, and star-crossed lovers. Interestingly, the prologue foreshadows all of the events that will take place within Romeo and Juliet. While contemporary audiences are aware of the play's end, as it exists as common knowledge, even classical audiences would have been aware of the play's ending due to the prologue. This moody, foreboding beginning tells the audience that the plot is not what is important. Instead, the play's importance lies in the motivations, decisions, and flaws of its characters.