Romeo and Juliet Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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Why are Romeo and Juliet "a case of bad luck" in Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare? 

Romeo and Juliet are "a case of bad luck" in Romeo and Juliet because in the first few lines of the prologue, the audience learns from the Chorus that the "star-cross'd" lovers, Romeo and Juliet, are destined for a life together of "bad luck" and misadventures beyond their control that will culminate in their deaths.

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Romeo and Juliet's "case of bad luck" is introduced in the first few lines of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. The Chorus speaks to the audience directly and tells them what's happened before the play begins and what to expect during the course of the play itself, all of which portends bad luck for Romeo and Juliet.

CHORUS. Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean. (1.1.1–4)

The longstanding feud between the Capulets (Juliet's family) and the Montagues (Romeo's family) has once again erupted in violence.

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

In these lines, the term "star-crossed" takes on two separate meanings by which Shakespeare foreshadows two separate series of events in the play. In the first instance,...

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