Foreshadowing In Romeo And Juliet

What are some examples of foreshadowing in Romeo and Juliet?

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Although the Prologue to Act I of the play does contain foreshadowing, Act III, Scene 5 also contains many examples. In this scene, it is morning and Romeo and Juliet awake after spending their first night together. Romeo will leave Verona this day per the terms of his banishment for killing Tybalt. Of course, they do not want the morning to come and when they realize it is morning, there is a despairing mood to the scene. It is imperative that Romeo leave Verona that morning or he will be killed. Romeo doesn't want to leave and he says to Juliet, "Let me be taken, let me be put to death./I am content, so thou wilt have it so." Another example of foreshadowing in the scene occurs once Romeo has descended Juliet's balcony and is looking up at her. She says to him, "Methinks I see thee, now thou art so low,/As one dead in the bottom of a tomb. Either my eyesight fails, or thou look'st pale." She's saying that while looking down at Romeo, she got an image of him as laying dead at the bottom of a tomb and that he looks deathly pale to her. Romeo responds to that by saying, "And trust me, love, in my eyes do do you./Dry sorrow drinks our blood." He tells her she also looks deathly pale and that sadness is sucking the life out of them.

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The most obvious example of the foreshadowing that occurs in the play comes from the Prologue when the Chorus states,

From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life;
Whole misadventured piteous overthrows
Do with their death bury their parents' strife.  (1.1.5-8)

It is clear in these lines that the Chorus is telling the reader/play-goer that Romeo and Juliet are from feuding families, that they will kill themselves, and that their deaths will end the feud between the two families.  There are also other less obvious examples of foreshadowing that occur in the play.  One being a comment that Juliet makes the first time that she sees Romeo at her parents' party when she says, "...if he be married/My grave is like to be my wedding bed."  (Act I, Scene v).

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