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Asked • 05/22/19

What is the benefit in the Prologue "spoiling" the play in Romeo + Juliet?

In the Act 1 Prologue to the play Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare > 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 >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, 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. Shakespeare spoils the whole play, telling the audience the entire premise of two lovers meeting and that they eventually "take their life". Surely revealing this at the start of the play kills of tension as the audience already knows Romeo and Juliet will die at the end? If so, what benefit was their for revealing this information at the start of the play?

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