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How does Shakespeare explore the theme of there being a generation gap between the plays central characters - "Romeo and Juliet".

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Introduction

"How does Shakespeare explore the theme of there being a generation gap between the plays central characters Throughout the play "Romeo and Juliet" the audience can tell that there is a generation gap between the older and younger generation. Both parents don't understand their children and don't take the time to see what they want and what is best for them. During the course of the play both children seem to get more rebellious as they try to fight to stay together. Both children have people that they go to for the guidance that should be provided by their parents. The first main sign of there being a generation gap is where we meet the County Paris who want to arrange a marriage to Juliet but instead of actually wooing her she asks her father. Lord Capulet agrees about the marriage as he thinks Paris would be a good husband for Juliet. The arrangement between Paris and Lord Capulet is made like a business deal. It isn't a proper marriage where the two people fall in the love it has all been planned but love is something that can happen to you at any time. Juliet's parents seem thrilled with Paris and therefore Lord and Lady Capulet have to tell Juliet the news. ...read more.

Middle

The play then progresses with Romeo and Juliet getting married without their parents, this is another sign of the generation gap. Romeo and Juliet's parents aren't even there for their wedding and can't understand that they want to be together because the love each other. On the other hand the friar and nurse both help to organise it and this shows that they truly care about them and want them to be happy. The audience also sees the death of Mercutio, Paris and the banishment of Romeo. There is a lot of dramatic irony, as the audience knows that if Romeo is banished then Romeo and Juliet can't be together. At this point in the play both Romeo and Juliet talk to both the friar and the nurse. Instead of Juliet's mother telling her about Tybalt's death the nurse is the one to tell her but Juliet is eager to find out about Romeo and as the nurse is the only person who knows about the couple she is the only one who can tell. If Juliet's mother was especially close to her then she would have known all of this but as the Nurse has been there more for Juliet she deserves the title of Juliet's mother. ...read more.

Conclusion

Juliet then says: 'Indeed I never shall be satisfied with Romeo, till I behold him - dead - Is my poor heart, so for a kinsman vexed' This also creates a sense of dramatic irony, this speech also has a double meaning. Juliet is lying directly to Lady Capulet. Juliet has become dishonest and is being manipulative. The relationship between her and her parents has made a clear change from this point onward. The relationship started as being reverential, courteous, respectful, isolated, formal, secluded, outlying, and unfamiliar. Now the relationship has made a significant change to a manipulative, and deceitful. Overall both Romeo and Juliet's personality has changed from the beginning due to the generation gap between them and their parents. It's the older generation's feud, which initially stops Romeo, and Juliet openly declaring their love, this then leads onto lots of complications. As they have to keep their marriage secret this means Juliet can't tell her father why she can't marry Paris. If it hadn't been for the feud in the families then Juliet and Romeo would have been able to get married properly and then Romeo wouldn't have been banished. The generation gap between the parents and children is all down to the fact that the two families are fighting, if the families weren't fighting then Romeo and Juliet wouldn't have rebelled and probably wouldn't have died in the end. Ali Barker 11B ...read more.

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