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The prologue: from the canterbury tales (classic reprint) - PROLOGUE



early 14c., from Old French prologue (12c.) and directly from Latin prologus , from Greek prologos "preface to a play, speaker of a prologue," literally "a speech beforehand," from pro- "before" (see pro- ) + logos "discourse, speech," from legein "to speak" (see lecture (n.)).

A prologue or prolog (from Greek πρόλογος prologos , from πρό pro , "before" and λόγος logos , "word") is an opening to a story that establishes the context and gives background details, often some earlier story that ties into the main one, and other miscellaneous information. The Ancient Greek prólogos included the modern meaning of prologue , but was of wider significance, more like the meaning of preface . The importance, therefore, of the prologue in Greek drama was very great; it sometimes almost took the place of a romance, to which, or to an episode in which, the play itself succeeded.

Many of the existing Greek prologues may be later in date than the plays they illustrate, or may contain large interpolations. On the Latin stage the prologue was often more elaborate than it was in Athens, and in the careful composition of the poems which Plautus prefixes to his plays we see what importance he gave to this portion of the entertainment; sometimes, as in the preface to the Rudens , Plautus rises to the height of his genius in his adroit and romantic prologues, usually placed in the mouths of persons who make no appearance in the play itself.

Molière revived the Plautian prologue in the introduction to his Amphitryon . Racine introduced Piety as the speaker of a prologue which opened his choral tragedy of Esther .

Prologue , a preface or introduction to a literary work. In a dramatic work , the term describes a speech, often in verse, addressed to the audience by one or more of the actors at the opening of a play .

The ancient Greek prologos was of wider significance than the modern prologue, effectually taking the place of an explanatory first act. A character, often a deity, appeared on the empty stage to explain events prior to the action of the drama, which consisted mainly of a catastrophe . On the Latin stage, the prologue was generally more elaborately written, as in the case of Plautus ’s Rudens .

In England , medieval mystery plays and miracle plays began with a homily. In the 16th century, Thomas Sackville used a dumb show (pantomime) as a prologue to the first English tragedy , Gorboduc ; William Shakespeare began Henry IV, Part 2 with the character of Rumour to set the scene, and Henry V began with a chorus. The Plautine prologue was revived by Molière in France during the 17th century.

early 14c., from Old French prologue (12c.) and directly from Latin prologus , from Greek prologos "preface to a play, speaker of a prologue," literally "a speech beforehand," from pro- "before" (see pro- ) + logos "discourse, speech," from legein "to speak" (see lecture (n.)).

A prologue or prolog (from Greek πρόλογος prologos , from πρό pro , "before" and λόγος logos , "word") is an opening to a story that establishes the context and gives background details, often some earlier story that ties into the main one, and other miscellaneous information. The Ancient Greek prólogos included the modern meaning of prologue , but was of wider significance, more like the meaning of preface . The importance, therefore, of the prologue in Greek drama was very great; it sometimes almost took the place of a romance, to which, or to an episode in which, the play itself succeeded.

Many of the existing Greek prologues may be later in date than the plays they illustrate, or may contain large interpolations. On the Latin stage the prologue was often more elaborate than it was in Athens, and in the careful composition of the poems which Plautus prefixes to his plays we see what importance he gave to this portion of the entertainment; sometimes, as in the preface to the Rudens , Plautus rises to the height of his genius in his adroit and romantic prologues, usually placed in the mouths of persons who make no appearance in the play itself.

Molière revived the Plautian prologue in the introduction to his Amphitryon . Racine introduced Piety as the speaker of a prologue which opened his choral tragedy of Esther .

early 14c., from Old French prologue (12c.) and directly from Latin prologus , from Greek prologos "preface to a play, speaker of a prologue," literally "a speech beforehand," from pro- "before" (see pro- ) + logos "discourse, speech," from legein "to speak" (see lecture (n.)).

early 14c., from Old French prologue (12c.) and directly from Latin prologus , from Greek prologos "preface to a play, speaker of a prologue," literally "a speech beforehand," from pro- "before" (see pro- ) + logos "discourse, speech," from legein "to speak" (see lecture (n.)).

A prologue or prolog (from Greek πρόλογος prologos , from πρό pro , "before" and λόγος logos , "word") is an opening to a story that establishes the context and gives background details, often some earlier story that ties into the main one, and other miscellaneous information. The Ancient Greek prólogos included the modern meaning of prologue , but was of wider significance, more like the meaning of preface . The importance, therefore, of the prologue in Greek drama was very great; it sometimes almost took the place of a romance, to which, or to an episode in which, the play itself succeeded.

Many of the existing Greek prologues may be later in date than the plays they illustrate, or may contain large interpolations. On the Latin stage the prologue was often more elaborate than it was in Athens, and in the careful composition of the poems which Plautus prefixes to his plays we see what importance he gave to this portion of the entertainment; sometimes, as in the preface to the Rudens , Plautus rises to the height of his genius in his adroit and romantic prologues, usually placed in the mouths of persons who make no appearance in the play itself.

Molière revived the Plautian prologue in the introduction to his Amphitryon . Racine introduced Piety as the speaker of a prologue which opened his choral tragedy of Esther .

Prologue , a preface or introduction to a literary work. In a dramatic work , the term describes a speech, often in verse, addressed to the audience by one or more of the actors at the opening of a play .

The ancient Greek prologos was of wider significance than the modern prologue, effectually taking the place of an explanatory first act. A character, often a deity, appeared on the empty stage to explain events prior to the action of the drama, which consisted mainly of a catastrophe . On the Latin stage, the prologue was generally more elaborately written, as in the case of Plautus ’s Rudens .

In England , medieval mystery plays and miracle plays began with a homily. In the 16th century, Thomas Sackville used a dumb show (pantomime) as a prologue to the first English tragedy , Gorboduc ; William Shakespeare began Henry IV, Part 2 with the character of Rumour to set the scene, and Henry V began with a chorus. The Plautine prologue was revived by Molière in France during the 17th century.

The " Prologue " is the opening music piece of Beauty and the Beast . As the title suggests, the music plays over the introduction to the Beast's backstory.

Once upon a time, in the hidden heart of France, a handsome young prince lived in a beautiful castle.​

Although he had everything his heart desired, the prince was selfish and unkind.​

"Master, it's time!"

He taxed the village to fill his castle with most beautiful objects—

"Oui, maître."

—and his parties with the most beautiful people.​


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