Shop  |  Calendar  |  Join  |  Buy Tickets  |  Hamnet  |  Site Rental  |  Press Room  
About UsWhat's OnUse the CollectionDiscover ShakespeareTeach & LearnFolger InstituteSupport Us
Teaching Resources
• Teaching Modules
Teaching Modules Archive

   Sign up for E-news!
   Printer Friendly

"Here's much to do with hate, but more with love": The Prologue in Romeo and Juliet

Teachers' Rating:
  72 ratings

Terence. Comoediae. Strasbourg, 1496.

October 2004
Heidi Beehler teaches English at Horace Greeley High School in Chappaqua, NY.

Plays/Scenes Covered
Romeo and Juliet
What's On for Today and Why

Part of the fun of teaching Romeo and Juliet is letting students see how the play is about much more than romantic love. In this lesson, students will work in pairs on a guided close reading of the prologue. Once students understand how the prologue functions in the play, they will try writing a prologue sonnet to another piece of literature they have read.


This lesson should precede the students' reading of the play and will take one class period. It's helpful if the students have previously studied the sonnet form. You might want to try the Folger lesson Fun with Sonnets .


For Heidi Beehler's full unit plan on the history and form of the sonnet, click here

What You Need

Folger edition of Romeo and Juliet
Available in Folger print edition and Folger Digital Texts

Handout: Prologue of Romeo and Juliet
What To Do
1. Read the prologue aloud, changing speakers at the end of each line. Remind the students of the basic sonnet form and address any vocabulary questions.

2. Divide students into pairs and give each student a copy of the Prologue handout below. Assign each student a task. One student should underline any words that have to do with love while the other underlines words that refer to fighting. (If possible, have students underline references to love in one color, and fighting in another.) Then, have the students discuss: Are there more words about love or fighting? Why do they think that is?

3. Reconvene the class and project the prologue text on an overhead. With your students' guidance, mark the words that have to do with love and those that have to do with fighting. (Again, color-coding the references will help emphasize the point that Shakespeare's prologue about star-crossed lovers has far more words about fighting than about love.) What do the students make of the emphasis on violence? How does this alter their expectations for the play?

4. Now, circle every example of the word "two" in the prologue. Why is this word--the very first word of the play--so important here? Help your students to see the importance of pairs in love and battle.

5. For homework, ask students to write their own prologue, in sonnet form, for another piece of literature they have read for your class.
How Did It Go?
Did the students find all the words and phrases that were either direct or indirect references to love and fighting? Were their findings consistent with their expectations, or were they contradictory? Did the pairs discuss the word "two" before you introduced it into the dialogue? Finally, did the students demonstrate an understanding of the sonnet form in their prologue assignments?

If you used this lesson, we would like to hear how it went and about any adaptations you made to suit the needs of YOUR students.

Login or register to post comments.

8 CommentsOldest | Newest

After the logical AND is obtained for the Clash Of Clans Score on the old device code. This is entered on the settings on the device, which should be on the Clash Of Clans Score continues Act. clash of clans ha
Fewser November 21, 2014 3:14 AM

Clif Bar Coupons
Traci October 6, 2014 7:23 AM

Clif Bar Coupons Mucinex Coupon
Traci October 6, 2014 7:19 AM

Parajumpers Jackets Moose Knuckles Canada Canada Goose Women Jackets
peter August 20, 2014 1:00 PM

Karen Millen Sale Karen Millen Outlet Mont Blanc Pens Sale UK
peter August 20, 2014 12:59 PM

Goyard Tote Goyard Tote Outlet Christian Louboutin Bags Outlet
peter August 20, 2014 12:59 PM

Nike Shox Norge Nike Free run Sverige Men Vans Half Cab Pro Vans Shoes Outlet
peter August 20, 2014 12:57 PM

Thanks for everything festa infantil
Sheila August 5, 2014 6:20 PM
  Common Core State Standards

There are no standards associated with this Lesson Plan.
How To

Note to Mozilla Firefox Users:

If the PDF documents are freezing, please try the following fix:
Go to Tools. Under Options click the Applications icon. Under Content Type, find Adobe Acrobat Document. Select Use Adobe Reader. If the option already says Use Adobe Reader, try changing the option to Use Adobe Acrobat.

Related Items

Download the free Adobe Acrobat Reader

Bookmark and Share   
     Copyright & Policies   |   Sitemap   |   Contact Us   |   About This Site
201 East Capitol Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003
Get directions »

Federal Tax ID #04-2103542
PublicReading Room
10am to 5pm, Monday through Saturday8:45am to 4:45pm, Monday through Friday
12pm to 5pm, Sunday9am to noon and 1pm to 4:30pm, Saturday
Main: 202 544 4600
Box Office: 202 544 7077
Fax: 202 544 4623