Who Is The First Person To Speak In Shakespeare's 'Romeo And Juliet'?


2 Answers

Lucy Burroughs Profile
Lucy Burroughs answered
In Romeo and Juliet, the famous tragedy by William Shakespeare, the first person to speak is the Chorus.

Who Or What Is The Chorus?

The chorus has its origins in Greek drama, and is a single character who serves as a narrator throughout the play. They provide a commentary on the events which is often accompanied by an evaluation and reflection on what they mean.

What Do They Say?
In Romeo and Juliet, the chorus begins by setting the scene (and giving away the ending!):

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-cross'd lovers take their life; Whose misadventur'd piteous overthrows Do 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, nought could remove, Is now the two hours' traffic of our stage; The which if you with patient ears attend, What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend.

The first "real" character to speak in Romeo and Juliet is Sampson, a Capulet servant who opens Act 1 Scene 1 with the line "Gregory, o' my word, we'll not carry coals."
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered

The play opens with Chorus. He is a highly regarded courtier, who gently takes us from scene to scene, describing in full what is to happen. He opens R&J with a sonnet;

      "Two households, both alike in dignity

      In fair Verona where we lay our scene"

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