What is foreshadowing?
Foreshadowing is the author's way of hinting at events to come.
In general, foreshadowing is an advance sign or warning about a future event. The event is often negative and the foreshadowing has a dark tone or mood.
The main purposes of this literary device are to create suspense and to develop the reader's expectations about what might happen later. It can be accomplished through any aspect of the writing, such as descriptions, dialogue, or even chapter titles.
A famous example of foreshadowing occurs in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. In Act 2, Romeo says the following lines to Juliet.
“Life were better ended by their hate,
Than death prorogued, wanting of thy love.”
Essentially, he states that he would prefer to die soon and know that she loves him than live longer without her love. This reference to dying foreshadows his own death later in the play.