In an older question about the purpose of the prologue in Romeo and Juliet, Cory Howell asked in a now deleted answer:

For what it's worth, the Prologue is not included in the First Folio version of Romeo and Juliet. So one must wonder, was it traditional to omit the Prologue by the time the First Folio was printed in 1623?

Shakespeare's First Folio contained 36 plays, 18 of which had been published before in quarto format. There are differences between the quarto and folio versions of the reprinted plays and sometimes these are considerable. If the quarto version contained a prologue, was it traditional to omit it in the First Folio edition?

1 Answer 1


Of the Shakespeare plays that were published in quarto before 1623, the following contained a prologue:

When looking at the First Folio versions of these plays, we see the following:

When looking at Henry V, we observe the following:

Troilus and Cressida is another special case:

Based on this, it is not possible to make the general claim that prologues were omitted when plays be Shakespeare were republished in the First Folio. In fact, the quarto editions of Henry V and Troilus and Cressida had no prologue, whereas the First Folio versions of these plays did.

(The Life of King Henry the Eighth also has a prologue but was not published before the First Folio.)

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