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prologue

With the lines, "Two households, both alike in dignity," Shakespeare begins the prologue to Romeo and Juliet, setting up the idea of two families who hate each other before introducing the lovers in the opening scene.

Like its buddy epilogue, which tells you what happens after the end of a story, a prologue is concerned with setup of a story. "As a prologue to what happened in the gym, I'll tell you about the food fight in the cafeteria earlier that day."

Definitions of prologue
  1. noun
    an introductory section of a novel or other literary work
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    Antonyms:
    afterword, epilog, epilogue
    a short section added at the end of a literary work
    type of:
    introduction
    the first section of a communication
  2. noun
    an introduction to a play
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    type of:
    introduction
    the first section of a communication
  3. noun
    something that serves as a preceding event or introduces what follows
    synonyms: overture, preliminary, prelude
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    type of:
    inception, origin, origination
    an event that is a beginning; a first part or stage of subsequent events
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