The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare clearly demonstrates how tragedy can be caused when the rage of past generations is carried over to a younger generation. The key factor that demonstrates this theme is the constant feud between the Capulets and the Montagues. The rage between the two households directly relates to the tragic death of Romeo and Juliet. A major dispute is going on between the Capulets and the Montagues. These two households, “both alike in dignity,” (1. Prologue. 1) have been feuding for so long that they even forget the reason they are feuding.
Romeo and Juliet, “a pair of star-crossed lovers who take their life,” (1. Prologue. 6) are results of how tragedy can be caused when the rage of past generations carries over to a younger generation. Tybalt is also an example of the theme. At Capulet’s party, he walks up to Lord Capulet and says “Tis he, that villain Romeo” (1. 5. 67). Tybalt learns this rage toward Romeo and all the other Montagues through past generations. Putting the objections and differences of Romeo and Juliet’s parents aside, however, Romeo and Juliet fall in love as soon as they meet, and decide to risk being wed in secret.
The reason for the secret marriage is because both Romeo and Juliet know their parents would be angered by their marriage. The only people to know about Romeo and Juliet’s secret marriage other than themselves is the Friar and the nurse. Due to the secret marriage, Romeo and Juliet tragically die. Had Romeo and Juliet announced their wedding, they could still be alive. Juliet would not have had to fake her death to get out of the arranged marriage with Paris if she had told her parents about her and Romeo. Romeo does not receive the information of the Friar and Juliet’s plan in time, and he kills himself in anguish over her death.
As Juliet awakes from her slumber, she sees Romeo dead. Juliet then kills herself in bereavement over Romeo’s death. Had Romeo and Juliet announced their wedding, then none of these tragic events ever would have happened as a result of their parents dispute. As well as the lives of Romeo and Juliet being affected, so were the lives of people around them that they loved and cared for. Not knowing of the secret marriage, Tybalt and Mercutio engage in a duel. Romeo tries to stop the duel when he says “Gentle Mercutio, put thy rapier down” (3. 1. 82) and also when he says “Draw, Benvolio; beat down their weapons.
Gentlemen, for shame, forbear this outrage! Tybalt, Mercutio, the Prince expressly hath forbidden bandying in Verona streets; Hold Tybalt! Good Mercutio! ” (3. 1. 84-88). As Romeo holds Tybalt and Mercutio under his arms, Tybalt stabs Mercutio. Mercutio then responds, “I am hurt. A plague o’ both your houses! ” (3. 1. 89-90). Romeo is outraged and saddened by Mercutio’s death. Romeo then attacks Tybalt and kills him. Romeo’s punishment for this act is banishment from Verona. As a result of the feud between the Capulets and the Montagues, the lives of several people, including Romeo and Juliet, are dramatically taken.
The feud between the two households causes Romeo and Juliet to keep their marriage a secret. This secret turns out to cause tragic events and untimely deaths. The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare is a perfect example of how tragedy can be caused when the rage of past generations carries over to a younger generation. The theme relates to me in a few ways. It makes me realize that what I do today, will affect my children and grandchildren when they grow up. The theme makes me try and act better so that I will not have this same tragedy, as the Capulets and Montagues have suffered, in my family.