The Opening Line of Romeo & Juliet

The first line of Romeo & Juliet, perhaps William Shakespeare’s most famous play, reads:

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.

Shakespeare’s opening line in Romeo & Juliet sets the play’s scene in Verona. It describes the two families at the center of the story: the Capulets, 13-year-old Juliet’s family, and the Montagues, to whom Romeo, her love interest belongs. The two families are not big fans of each other, which is obvious from the first sentence of the play. Ultimately, this line dares to ask: will Romeo and Juliet’s love end the families’ grudge against each other?

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