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ACT II, PROLOGUE

The Chorus (which, in Shakespeare's day, was only one person) appears as in Act I to comment on the action. Again, Shakespeare uses a sonnet.

Romeo's love for Rosaline is dead, we're told. He now loves Juliet. Romeo and Juliet don't really know each other yet, but they have both been "bewitched by the charm of looks."

At the end of the sonnet, we're told that neither fate, nor Providence, but passion lends the lovers power to meet. How can good come from "sinful" passion? The wise Friar Lawrence will explain this later in the act.

ACT II, SCENE I

The party's over and Romeo's out on the street. He's dazed after meeting Juliet, and reluctant to go home. When he hears Benvolio and Mercutio coming, he ducks out of sight.

Benvolio and Mercutio, still in a party mood, are looking for their friend. Benvolio calls for Romeo by name, but Mercutio is more inventive. He calls, "Romeo! Humors! Madman! Passion! Lover!" and says that if Romeo will only mutter lovers' cliches he'll know it's him.



Mercutio assumes that Romeo is still pining away for Rosaline. In fact, Mercutio says the best he can do is to conjure up the ghost of the old Romeo.

Benvolio finally decides they should just

Go then, for 'tis in vain To seek him here that means not to be found. (II, i, 41-42)

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