What Does “From Forth the Fatal Loins of These Two Foes” Mean?

In William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” the line “From the fatal loins of these two foes” tells the audience that the children of the Capulets and the Montagues, who are at war with each other, are doomed to fall in love and die because of it. The next line, “A pair of star-crossed lovers will kill themselves,” completes the idea.

The chorus says these lines in the beginning of Shakespeare’s famous romantic tragedy. The prologue is written in the form of a sonnet, a type of poetry that was very popular in England in the 1600s, when Shakespeare was alive. Sonnets often deal with love and tragedy.

Misha Khatri
Misha Khatri is an emeritus professor in the University of Notre Dame's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He graduated from Northern Illinois University with a BSc in Chemistry and Mathematics and a PhD in Physical Analytical Chemistry from the University of Utah.


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