Note to Romeo and Juliet, Prologue, line 4: "civil blood"


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Romeo and Juliet,
Prologue, line 4.
civil blood makes civil hands unclean: The "civil blood" is the blood of the citizens of Verona shed by the Capulets and Montagues as they fight one another. The repeated use of the word "civil" creates a striking irony: the citizens of Verona should be civil — respectful and civilized — but instead they are egaged in a bloody civil war.