The essays in this collection address the prophetic function of opening scenes and sequences in Shakespeare's histories, dramas, and comedies. The authors ask and attempt to answer such questions as what constitutes an opening sequence, the purpose of prologues and choruses, the meaning of «enframed action,» and the relationship between exposition and mood setting. The contributors include prominent Shakespearean scholars such as Douglas Peterson, Barbara Palmer, David Bergeron, and J.L. Styan. Several of the papers were originally presented at a meeting of the Shakespeare Association of America.