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(often US), prolog
a. the prefatory lines introducing a play or speech
b. the actor speaking these lines
2. in early opera
a. an introductory scene in which a narrator summarizes the main action of the work
b. a brief independent play preceding the opera, esp one in honour of a patron



the introductory part of a literary or dramatic work that provides information about the work’s meaning, plot, or themes or that briefly summarizes the events preceding the main action.

In the drama of classical antiquity, the prologue was a scene or monologue summarizing the situation or myth on which the plot was based. In the medieval mystery play, miracle play, and morality play, the prologue was a prayer or sermon containing the parable that was the basis of the play. In the dramas of Shakespeare, Goethe, and Schiller, the prologue often expressed the author’s aesthetic intention, in addition to setting forth the motivation for the succeeding events.

The prologue in its modern meaning and its use in a wide variety of genres took form in the 19th century; examples are found in Pushkin’s narrative poem The Bronze Horseman and in Thackeray’s novel Vanity Fair. Gradually, the prologue became an element of the plot. Examples may be seen in the prologues to N. V. Gogol’s novella The Terrible Vengeance, H. Longfellow’s narrative poem Hiawatha, and I. G. Ehrenburg’s novel The Extraordinary Adventures of Julio Jurenito. In narrative genres, such a prologue is sometimes called a Vorgeschichte (prehistory). Unlike the preface, the prologue is always a product of literary imagination.


References in periodicals archive ?
Prologues to Ancient and Medieval History: A Reader (Readings in Medieval Civilizations and Cultures), Toronto, University of Toronto Press, 2013; paperback; pp.
5) Crucially, however, the collection did not contain either the prologue or the epilogue of The Parson's Wedding.
Audi AG, a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG (Xetra: VW), has launched a more rugged version of the prologue Avant concept, called the Prologue Allroad, at the 2015 Shanghai Motor Show.
45-kilometre opening mountain prologue from Le Chable to Bruson.
It was even more sweet as he missed out on contending victory on the prologue when he lost precious seconds after his foot came out of his cleat pedal.
The prologue has flitted in and out of the Tour itinerary since then but Cancellara has won whenever it has been included by a stunning 13-second margin over 8km in London in 2007 and by ten seconds from Martin over 8.
I'm just pleased it stayed dry really because it's never nice riding a prologue in the rain.
The framing text in early modern English drama; 'whining' prologues and 'armed' epilogues.
The Avenues steps up to Middle East Grand Turismoao5 Prologue Challenge
The gamer drove other Bahrain challengers off the track during the regional heat of a month-long Middle East competition to find the best Gran Turismo 5 Prologue Challenge drivers
Gran Turismo 5 Prologue features an edgy soundtrack that mixes an aesthetic audio blending of indie dance rock, electronica, classic rock and brand new remixes by some of today's hottest recording artists such as Weezer, Mars Volta and DJ Shadow, among others.
WITH the release of Gran Turismo 5 reportedly more than a year away, Sony have thrown us Prologue to whet our appetite.