A chorus enters and summarizes the action that is about to take place. They describe two families of equal nobility whose “ancient grudge” has reached new heights—the citizens of Verona are now, too, being roped into the families’ “new mutiny.” The chorus describes “a pair of star-crossed lovers,” one from each family, who will, in taking their own lives, mend their parents’ feud. The story of the young couple’s “death-marked love” is about to unfold on the stage, and the chorus promises that those who listen with “patient ears” will soon understand all the intricacies of the tale.
The chorus’s introductory monologue sets the scene and describes the action that is about to place—but it also sets up the notion that fate is inevitable. The chorus already knows what happens to Romeo and Juliet, and as their story unfolds, the two young lovers are helpless to escape the predestined events that will come to define their lives.