Romeo and Juliet – Generation Gap Essay

One of the most defining themes in Romeo and Juliet is that of the Generation Gap between characters. This theme builds the storyline creating the numerous misunderstandings throughout the play and a satisfying conclusion.

Characters can be divided into two categories. The elder characters (Less eager to fight, believe life is short and marry for status) and the Youth (Have dreams, believe in love and act on impulse.) It is because of this division that the elder characters make decisions the youth rebel against because they feel they cannot talk to the elders, as they do not understand.

This can be seen between Tybalt and Capulet whereby Tybalt wants to fight Romeo for gate crashing and Capulet refuses as he has planned the party to be a courtship period for Paris and Juliet. Tybalt swears his revenge, which later results in his and Mercutios death. Had Tybalt understood Capulet’s reasoning and had Capulet explained himself fully, Tybalt would not have died.

This would mean that the next misunderstanding between Capulet and Juliet would not have occurred, whereby Juliet’s marriage to Paris is arranged to make her happy as they think she is sad due to Tybalts death. Juliet’s refusal to marry Paris is seen as disobedience.

The fact that Capulet will not listen to Juliet and that she cannot talk about her marriage to Romeo is the initial reason Juliet fakes her death and later kills herself. However had Romeo and Juliet not been so hasty their end would not have been fatal. Romeo was too quick to assume Juliet’s death, had he waited they could have run away. Also Tybalt and Romeo where to quick to fight, had they been peaceful the wedding of Paris to Juliet would not have been moved forward giving Juliet and Romeo more time to confess their love and marriage.

It was due to the generation gap that Romeo and Juliet amongst others died and the family finally united in peace. However had the gap not existed would the families have united?

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