In William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, the main characters attempt to defy the traditions and standards established in their community by the elders. In that regard, the reluctance of older generation to give up on their strict customs leads to the tragedy and death of younger generation, which is why the older generation is the one that is to blame for such outcome.
In their actions, Romeo and Juliet signify a spiritual connection and longing to become together, despite the apparent social obstacles. They believe that their love can conquer the struggle imposed by the society and their parents. In his conversation with Friar Laurence, Romeo confronts the older generation by saying: “Thou canst not speak of that thou dost not feel. / Wert thou as young as I, Juliet thy love” (III.iii. 67-68), emphasizing the fact that the man cannot rationalize feelings, and reproaches him for inability to empathize with his affection. This proves that Romeo is adamant about his feelings, suggesting that his love is what should be cherished, instead of social orders that suppress it.
The other generation refuses to see the seriousness of Romeo and Juliet’s relationships, choosing to break it apart and seek benefit from its disruption. Juliet’s father forces her to marry a man, who is more favorable for family status, regardless of Juliet’s feelings, and, once she refuses to comply, he disavows her: “For, by my soul, I’ll ne’er acknowledge thee, / Nor what is mine shall never do thee good” (III.v.194-195). This shows the level of control that the older generation is willing to impose on younger generation in order to pursue their own interest.
Thus, in William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, the two generations come into a clash. The younger generation, being motivated by the purity of their feelings, tries to overcome the social struggles and obstacles. Whereas the older generation refuses to give in, reinforcing the social order that suppresses the expression of true feelings between two people. This way, because of the stubbornness of older generation, the situation results in death of a young couple.