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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 5 A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life; Whose misadventured piteous overthrows Do with their death bury their parents' strife. The fearful passage of their death-mark'd love, And the continuance of their parents' rage, 10 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.
thats the poem^^
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny = (more or less) they were fighting long ago, and now that same fighting has broken out again Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean = the blood they've spilled is their own, within the community, not the blood of foreigners (just as a "civil war" is war within a state or country) AND this is not a good thing, their "civil" hands are not so civil, not so courteous (a play on the two meanings of "civil") -- in fact, they're unclean =====> This does not sound like anyone is justified in these actions, nor does the use of the words "grudge" and "mutiny" in the earlier line From forth the fatal loins of these two foes = born of these two enemies (that is, the two families) star-crossed lovers ===> This does not sound good and positive either, like anyone in this mess is in the right So . . . so far, do we have either family clearly in the right? Either family the victor? Either family the *only* loser? And who are these kids who die? Aren't they the kids of the very two families who are fighting? (So, loss on both sides.) Do with their death bury their parents' strife = by their death, the lovers ended the fighting between their families 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 = the fearful story/history of this love marked by death and the continuing of that rage, which nothing but their children's death could remove [is now the story of our play here upon the stage] I am assuming the dense language was throwing you. Does breaking it down in this way help? Given that two teenagers die needlessly, because of their parents' feud (so just the situation itself), given the negative language in use, would you say that anyone comes out ahead, that only one family is the loser? Is there language anywhere that justifies the feud itself?