Study Guide

Romeo and Juliet Youth

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Kids these days. They don't respect their parents, they have no morals, and they just run around having sex and fighting. Sound familiar? Sure. It also sounded familiar in the 16th century, when Romeo and Juliet was written. Romeo and Juliet's youthful passion conflicts with the values of their feuding parents and their more mature advisors. But who's right? Should Romeo and Juliet have just gone along with their parents, who seemed about ready to put the old feud to rest? Or does it take youthful rebellion to shake things up? And who's most to blame for the tragedy: the kids or the grownups?

Questions About Youth

  1. What values do the young characters emphasize in the play? What about the older generation?
  2. When do young and old characters come into conflict? Over what?
  3. Both the Friar and the Nurse are old, yet they make Romeo and Juliet's hasty young marriage possible. Are the Friar and the Nurse on the side of the old or the young?
  4. Is Romeo and Juliet's tragedy the fault of the old people or the young people? The values of the old or the values of the young?

Chew on This

Romeo and Juliet's tragedy is the result of the inability of the older generation to understand the passion and commitment of the younger.

Romeo and Juliet are doomed by their own youthful impulsiveness, which their wiser mentors are not able to restrain.

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