P / P Excerpts: The First Words of Love’s Labour’s Lost & Romeo and Juliet

Photo credit, left: fanpop,center: bfi.org.uk, right: shakespearetavern

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ROMEO AND JULIET

PROLOGUE

Enter CHORUS

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.

From forth the fatal loins of these two foes

   A pair of star-crost lovers take their life;

Whose misadventured piteous overthrows

   Doth with their death bury their parents’ strife.

The fearful passage of their death-mark’d love,

   And the continuance of their parents’ rage,

Which, but their children’s end, naught could re-

   Is now the two hours’ traffic of our stage; [move,

The which if you with patient ears attend,

What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend.

[Exit.

 

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LOVE’S LABOUR’S LOST

ACT I. SCENE I

Narrative.  A park with a palace in it.

Enter the KING, BEROWNE, LONGAVILLE, and 

DUMAINE

KING.

Let fame, that all hunt after in their lives,

Live register’d upon out brazen tombs,

And the grace us in the disgrace of death

When, spite of cormorant devouring Time,

Th’endeavor of this present breath may buy

That honour which shall bate his scythe’s keen

Edge,

And make us heirs of all eternity,

Therefore, brave conquerors,-for so you are,

That war against your own affections,

And the huge army of the world’s desires,-

Our late edict shall strongly stand in force:

Navarre shall be the wonder of the world;

Our court shall be a little, Academe,

Still and contemplative in living art.

You three, Berowne, Dumaine, and Longaville,

Have sworn for three years’ term to live with me

My fellow-scholars, and to keep those statutes

That are recorded in this schedule here:

Your oath are pass’d; and now subscribe your names,

That his own hand may strike his honour down

That violates the smallest branch herein:

If you are arm’d to as sworn to do,

Subscribe to you to your deep oaths, and keep it too.

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