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How does Shakespeare explore the theme of there being a generation gap between the play's main characters? You should focus on the language used during conversations, involving main characters.

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Introduction

How does Shakespeare explore the theme of there being a generation gap between the play's main characters? You should focus on the language used during conversations, involving main characters. An example of the language Shakespeare uses to prove the generation gap between the characters, is this line from the play said by Juliet, 'Is there no pity sitting in the clouds, that sees into the bottom of my grief?' This shows well how Capulet and Lady Capulet don't understand their daughter's grief at the time and don't understand her wish not to marry Paris. Her language shows desperation and she craves for comfort from the Nurse, who replies 'I think it best you married with the County.' This example shows how Shakespeare explores the theme of there being a generation gap and the difference is opinions between the different generations. The generation gap between Lady Capulet and her daughter, Juliet is first shown significantly between these two characters, which can be seen in the language in Act 1 Scene 3. This is shown when both characters are introduced; Juliet enters by saying 'Madam, I am here.' The use of the word 'Madam' shows Juliet's obedience and respect for her mother and also highlights the generation gap. The use of this word, instead of the word 'Mother', could mean how detached Juliet and her mother are and the greater generation gap caused because of this. ...read more.

Middle

However, the Nurse's language shows that there is an apparent generation gap between them in Act One Scene Three, 'For even the day before she broke her brow.' The Nurse gives a speech on how she raised Juliet and how she remembers the small details about her 'The pretty wretch left crying.' This shows the generation gap between them as Nurse fulfils the typical role of a mother boasting about her child. But in some instances during the play, the generation gap between the two characters is ignored, like in Act Two Scene Five. In this scene, the Nurse has arrived from visiting Romeo, with information to Juliet. The Nurse teases Juliet and keeps her in suspense, so Juliet flatters her by saying 'good, good Nurse,' in order to hasten the slow process of telling her about the marriage plans. But the nurse teases her again and says, 'an honest gentleman, and courteous...-Where is your mother?' This teasing and jovial language represents how bonded these two characters are, and shows the generation gap at this stage is not so large. Later on in the play, the generation gap becomes much clearer. By Act Three Scene Five, whilst Juliet remains tortured by Romeo's banishment and Tybalt's death, she looks to the Nurse for comfort and advice, 'O God - O Nurse, how shall this be prevented?' But the Nurse replies by saying that it would be better to marry Paris and how 'Romeo's a dishclout to him.' ...read more.

Conclusion

Romeo is frenzied and panics due to this and starts becoming hysterical about his banishment, 'Tis torture, and not mercy.' At this stage of the play, Friar Lawrence sense Romeo's desperation and grief and tells Romeo to act like a proper husband, 'Thy tears are womanish.' The Friar and Romeo's generation gap widens as he takes on a more paternal role, 'Thou hast amaz'd me...I thought thy disposition better temper'd.' But his language becomes gentler and more supportive 'Ascend her chamber - hence and comfort her.' This shows that although both characters are from different generations, they are both respectful to each other. Shakespeare has shown that the relationships between Romeo and Juliet and their parents, have been quite strained and shows that the generation gap is much wider between them, which is shown when Capulet speaks about Juliet '...we have a curse in having her.' But later on in the play, after the death of Juliet he realises how harsh he was to her and how detached they were from each other, when he says 'O child! O child! My soul and not my child!' His language conveys the sorrow he feels for the loss of his daughter, which is shown by the exclamation marks and how he Juliet meant so much to him. Using such language, Shakespeare has created the idea of there being a generation gap between the characters and how the difference in generations has led to misunderstanding and different perspectives of love, 'Poor sacrifices of our enmity!' Sasha Payagala 11s ...read more.

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