May 17 2017

Youth in this play is a separate nation.

Please read the following excerpt by Professor Frank Kermode.  He was the Lord Northcliffe Professor of Modern English Literature at University College London and the King Edward VII Professor of English Literature at Cambridge University.  This excerpt is short, but you should take your time in reading it and most importantly thinking about what Professor Kermode is actually saying.

Youth in this play is a separate nation; its customs are not understood by the old.  For the hot blood which makes love at once a matter of rapture and low jokes is the same that keeps warm the obsolete Montague-Capulet feud.  The same passions work toward both ends. 

After you have read and carefully thought about this excerpt, write a response in which you answer the questions below:

  1. What is this critic’s claim or thesis?
  2. What evidence can you find to support this critic’s claim?  (Make sure you explain how this evidence actually justifies the critic’s claim.)
  3. What evidence can you find that would refute the critic’s claim?  (Make sure you explain how this evidence refutes the critic’s claim.)
  4. Overall, do you agree with the critic?  Why or Why not?
R&J blog #17

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Posted May 17, 2017 by equinson in category Romeo and Juliet

26 thoughts on “Youth in this play is a separate nation.

  1. Toa Neil

    “Youth in this play is a separate nation; its customs are not understood by the old. For the hot blood which makes love at once a matter of rapture and low jokes is the same that keeps warm the obsolete Montague-Capulet feud. The same passions work toward both ends.”

    The thesis of this critic is that youth is a double edged sword in this tale, and that it brings things both great and terrible. The idea is supported because in the story youth caused Juliet and Romeo to fall in love and it caused all the terrible consequences. The fact that nothing good comes out of their love may refute the critics claim as it eliminates one side of the idea. I do agree with the critic, I feel that youthful emotions led to the unpleasant events in this book as well as the good results.

  2. tarika1

    The critics claim in this excerpt is that the old will not understand the young styled humor and love in this play. When they say, “its customs are not understood by the old. For the hot blood which makes love at once a matter of rapture and low jokes is the same that keeps warm the obsolete Montague-Capulet feud”, they are providing evidence for their claim. The author evidence is saying that the old will not understand the true love and low jokes that are in this play. They also say that the childish ways of the play is what keeps the Capulet-Montague feud alive. One thing that disproves this claim is how all ages of people understand and enjoy the play today. After all, old people were once young. I do not agree with the critic for the reasons just provided. Older people were once young and they can recall to their younger selves.

  3. christophert3

    In the excerpt by Professor Frank Kermode, the claim he is making is that youth often is misunderstood, or can’t be understood, by the old. It is a world separate from the old. In Romeo and Juliet, we see this many times. An example off the top of my head would be how Romeo and Juliet loved each other and their love led them to love each other’s family, while in Montague and Capulet’s case, they constantly fought and hated each other because of the “hot blood” that laid between the two families. Some evidence that would refute his claim though would be how in real life, parents can understand a hardship if they had gone through it themselves and can often lend advice. The old also often greatly affect the lives of the young with their beliefs. One often grows up with views similar to parents because that is simply how they were raised. Overall, I believe that the young and the old do live in two very different worlds. Now, young are very accustomed to the use of most technology, while many adults still have a hard time with it. But the old often strive to help the young and stay a part of their lives. The young and old live in different worlds, there are just many exceptions to this.

  4. arihantp1

    In this excerpt Professor Frank Kermode is trying to show how the youth culture played a dominant role in the plot of the play. He tries to show how the youth is often misunderstood by the old and elderly. Their drastic actions in the name of love, is looked down upon by the old, and won’t make sense to many people. But he is also trying to say how the youth are responsible for keeping the Montague-Capulet feud alive through their pranks and low jokes. “For the hot blood which makes love at once a matter of rapture and low jokes is the same that keeps warm the obsolete Montague-Capulet feud.” This quote proves how many won’t understand the play from an adult perspective. However, Professor Kermode is essentially saying that the old don’t remember their experiences from when they were young, in his claim. In modern society, many parents and other people remember what it was like making raunchy jokes and being “hot in love.” I do agree with the critics statement. Throughout the play we can clearly see many people mocking Romeo for giving up Rosaline so quickly, just to fall in love with a girl who is fairer. The young and old do live in separate worlds and it is made very clear in Romeo and Juliet.

  5. ilyssal

    Professor Frank Kermode’s claim in this short excerpt is that the youth are in a world separate from older adults who can’t often relate to their situations and experiences. This statement I find to be very true, as teenagers today can not always discuss certain topics with older people because the times have changed and some things do not apply to other generations. Adults don’t always understand, and I find that Kermode’s statement captures this nicely. Romeo and Juliet fit the statement as well. Their love is different and is outside of the tradition of weddings in the families.

  6. Kat

    Professor Frank Kermode’s thesis in this excerpt is that the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet is caused by the youth in the story. The families themselves have a feud that has lasted for many years. However it is not the feud itself that causes problems, it is the impetuous, and irritable young characters. If Romeo did not kill Tybalt he would not have been banished. If Romeo and Juliet had not have gotten married so early, than they may not have been so committed to each other. However it is not just youth that caused these terrible events. If Capulet had not forced Juliet to marry Paris they never would have had to make up the plan that eventually killed them. Overall I think that the critic is right to say that the youths are mostly at fault, but it is not just them. I think that almost everyone in the play is responsible for the many losses and misfortunes.

  7. Tyler Newby

    In his excerpt, Professor Frank Kermode says “Youth in this play is a separate nation; its customs are not understood by the old.  For the hot blood which makes love at once a matter of rapture and low jokes is the same that keeps warm the obsolete Montague-Capulet feud.  The same passions work toward both ends.” He is saying that the old people who watch or read this play will not understand the way the young people act in the play. For example, he said “For the hot blood which makes love at once a matter of rapture and low jokes is the same that keeps warm the obsolete Montague-Capulet feud.” Here, he is saying that the old will not understand the love and humor that fueled the feud between the Montagues and Capulets. However, many may disagree with him because anyone who is old was once young and may understand the way the young think and act. I agree with the professor because there is often a feud between the old and young in society because they simply don’t understand each other.

  8. margauxc

    Professor Frank Kermode, in this excerpt, claims that the audience requires a youthful perspective in order to grasp the essence of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”. If one were to spend the entirety of the play chiding Romeo for his impetuosity or Juliet for her naivety, then one would essentially fail to capture the brilliance of Shakespeare’s work. Neither Romeo or Juliet are sensible or responsible- Which are necessary flaws that convey and emphasize the youthful nature of the star-crossed lovers. According to Kermode, an audience who has forgotten certain aspects of Youth cannot truly appreciate certain aspects of the play. Kermode remarks, “For the hot blood which makes love at once a matter of rapture and low jokes is the same that keeps warm the obsolete Montague-Capulet feud.” The duality between the honor-seeking, rash nature of the fiery Tybalt and the witty, mischievous nature of brave Mercutio indicates a presence of youth’s influence. (Both seek the thrill of dueling each other, and their thirst for danger is a clear indicator of youth). It’s their [Tybalt and Mercutio’s] youthful/careless behavior which continues the strife between Montague and Capulet- and it’s Romeo’s recklessness which further develops this strife (once he challenges Tybalt). However, as noted by Professor Frank Kermode, Youth is also the driving force behind the romantic aspects of this play. Love-at-first sight is a result of an unrealistic mind- older generations tend to be more realistic and practical when it comes to understanding what love actually is. If Romeo and Juliet were not the naive, unrealistic, starry-eyed youths that they were at the time of Capulet’s feast- then most likely their love wouldn’t have been as raw, or as passionate as it was. A fault in Professor Frank Kermode’s thesis happens to be that Youth, in this play, is not necessarily a separate nation. Yes, it could be considered one- yet, if put into a certain perspective, one could argue otherwise. In order to fully grasp the essence of this play, one needs to maintain a balance between keeping in mind a youthful perspective and a mature perspective. The audience needs to understand and conclude that the actions taken by Romeo and Juliet are not reasonable at all- and that the brief “love” they shared was more destructive than it was romantic. They [Romeo and Juliet] shouldn’t have killed themselves in the name of love- that’s pure lunacy. These lessons can only be understood through an older, wiser perspective. Youth should not be viewed as a separate nation- it should be viewed as something that should be understood by the old as well. And as for the old, their perspectives should be understood by the young. Overall though, I do agree with Professor Frank Kermode’s analysis. Youth is definitely a primary theme and major driving force evident in Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”.

  9. charlottes

    “Youth in this play is a separate nation; its customs are not understood by the old. For the hot blood which makes love at once a matter of rapture and low jokes is the same that keeps warm the obsolete Montague-Capulet feud. The same passions work toward both ends.”

    The claim of this statement is that most old people will not understand the humor and love in this play as well as the young people. Professor Kermode is actually supporting his claim in this line. “For the hot blood which makes love at once a matter of rapture and low jokes is the same that keeps warm the obsolete Montague-Capulet feud.” These lines say that the humor is directed towards the youth reading this play, not the elderly. The jokes that are humorous to people my age, but may now be as humorous to people older than me. Also, the statement also says the jokes and naive behavior is what the feud runs on. If it wasn’t for the ignorant fights (beginning and Tybalt vs Mercutio) and the insults traded between the two households, the disagreement wouldn’t be. The fuel for the feud is the young Capulet’s and Montague’s young behavior. It may be hard to believe, but that is the truth. I do agree with the critic on some level. I believe that since adults are more serious than children, they may not get the humor as well but they will still understand it. After all, they already know what it’s like to be young and tell jokes that that. Depending on which angle you look at the statement, I could agree or disagree with it.

  10. faithw

    Professor Frank Kermode’s thesis is that in the tragedy, Romeo and Juliet, the old and young characters do not understand each other. This notion is evident throughout the play. For example, Capulet desired his daughter, Juliet, to marry the noble Paris. Capulet and Lady Capulet are shell-shocked when Juliet refused the offer. The family argued to the point where Capulet threatened to disown Juliet if she refused to marry Paris. Capulet was unaware of the fact that Juliet loathed the man she was being forced to marry. The patriarch did not take her feelings into consideration when choosing her groom. However, the Professor’s theory does not apply to all of the characters. One character, who comprehended younger characters, was Friar Lawrence. The Friar understood Juliet’s perspective when she rejected marrying Paris. He helped Juliet create an intricate plan to fake her death in order to live a happy life with her true love, Romeo. Juliet confessed her feelings for Romeo to the Friar because she believed that the Friar cared about Juliet’s piece of mind. For a portion of the play, the Nurse would also defy Professor Kermode’s claim. The Nurse was an ally to Juliet until Romeo murdered Tybalt. Although there is strong evidence to prove both sides of the argument, Professor Frank Kermode’s theory generally works for the majority of the characters, but there are a few important exceptions.

  11. sofiad1

    The Professor’s claim is that children in this show act in a way that their elders don’t understand. He says, “For the hot blood which makes love at once a matter of rapture and low jokes is the same that keeps warm the obsolete Montague-Capulet feud.” This is showing that kids use the same passions their elders use for different reasons, thus confusing them. For example, today most parents are not as technologically savvy as their kids. Parents are baffled by how kids can spend hours at a time on their electronics. However, there is certainly evidence to refute this. After all, Romeo did slaughter Tybalt a short period of time after Romeo married his cousin. This clearly shows that the blood that keeps warm the Montagues-Capulet feud is very much in place. I do agree with the professor because, at the end of the day, Youth do use their energy for different things than their elders.

  12. avae1

    In his excerpt, Professor Frank Kermode claims the distinction between the youth and the old had a major affect on the plot of “Romeo and Juliet”. He states that adults cannot fully comprehend the lively and rash nature of the youth in this play. The childish behavior of the characters was to blame for the continuance of the Capulet-Montague rivalry, and simultaneously the whimsical passion of young love. One could say that if it weren’t for that group of Romeo’s comrades encouraging him to crash the Capulet party, Romeo and Juliet would never had met. Or if that lighthearted duel between the kinsmen had not begun, Tybalt would not have been slain, and further Romeo banished. The youth’s carelessness and recklessness could be held accountable for the events that later caused the tragic end.

    However, the adolescents of Verona are not to be completely blamed, for the adults influence the rivalry and relationships as well. If Capulet had not threatened to disown Juliet, would she have taken such extreme measures? It is impossible to tell, for it was not one group or “separate nation” that allowed the tragic end to occur. I do not agree with Professor Frank Kermode’s thesis that the old are incapable of understanding the essence of the young. Every parent and adult was young once, and probably at one point had similar attitudes as the younger characters in this play. Therefore the behavior may be unfamiliar to the adult reader, but that does not mean they understand it with any less accuracy as their younger counterparts. Overall, I agree that the teasing and fervent love of the young may be something the youth can relate to now, but the old can be just as suited to understand and learn about this well-known romantic disaster.

  13. caias1

    Youth in this play is a separate nation; its customs are not understood by the old. For the hot blood which makes love at once a matter of rapture and low jokes is the same that keeps warm the obsolete Montague-Capulet feud. The same passions work toward both ends.

    The point in this excerpt by Professor Kermode is that the younger generation is completely different from the older generation. Often, older people see the younger ones in a different universe, because they can not understand the younger people’s version of love and jokes. When he says, “For the hot blood which makes love at once a matter of rapture and low jokes is the same that keeps warm the obsolete Montague-Capulet feud, ” he is saying that the love that gives the younger townspeople joy and jokes give the older generations reasons to be at odds. Although the nurse does eliminate this theory, I overall agree with the critic, because the nurse was really the only one who understood Juliet and Romeo’s love.

  14. francescaa

    Although short, Professor Kermode’s excerpt explains various ideas pertaining to Romeo and Juliet. He says that the youth of a generation often do things that go against what their parents perceive as unacceptable. For example, in the rock and roll era children were doing things their parents completely disagreed with. What Professor Kermode is saying here is that rebelling children is rather common, but it also may lead to more severe issues in the future. Another thing Professor Kermode said was that love is a matter of joy and happiness. Back in Juliet’s days, happiness was not a topic of concern when marrying two individuals. The marriage was often set up by older family members and never did they ask for the bride’s opinion on whom she would like to spend the rest of her life with. At least we can say some things have definitely changed for the better!

    Another idea presented by Professor Kermode was that love and hate worked to bring Romeo and Juliet’s lives to and end. “The same passions work toward both ends.” In previous books we read in class the themes of love and hate were scattered, just like in this play. What we learn from this is that love is really never perfect. There is always another factor messing things up, and in Romeo and Juliet’s case, that factor is hate.

  15. marinas1

    In this statement, the author is claiming that the youth in the play are completely different than the adults. This makes absolute sense, for Romeo and Juliet do seem to be far less practical than their parents, romanticizing every moment of their lives. While their parents married each other for material gain, Romeo and Juliet marry one another in spite of their passionate love. While Juliet’s parents think that it is completely fine to marry someone whilst having no sort of romantic attachment to them, Romeo and Juliet would rather die than be apart from one another. This, clearly, is something Romeo and Juliet’s parents did not comprehend. Professor Frank Kermode, the author of this statement, also says “For the hot blood which makes love at once a matter of rapture and low jokes is the same that keeps warm the obsolete Montague-Capulet feud.” This refers to a number of characters in the play. Romeo and Juliet, youthful and so-called “hot blooded” beings, are completely filled with elation and euphoria. These emotions continue throughout the play, displayed in nearly every scene. When Romeo and Juliet meet on the balcony, they act incredibly romantic towards one another. In the scene, Juliet exclaims “‘A thousand times good night.’”, Romeo replies “‘A thousand times the worse to want thy light. Love goes toward love as schoolboys from their books, but love from love, toward school with heavy looks.’” Here, Romeo is clearly declaring that he is very reluctant to leave her, and does not want to withdraw from her sight. He says this in such a grandiose way, comparing his reluctance to schoolboys being unwilling to go to school. This kind of passion, the author claims, also fueled the ongoing grudge between the Montagues and the Capulets. This is ironic, for they do not understand the ways of the youth, and yet that kind of foolishness is what stirs grudges in “fair Verona, where we lay our scene.”

    On the other hand, Professor Frank Kermode could also be referencing Tybalt (when he is speaking about rapture). In the play, that wereTybalt is one fierce, passionate being. He hates all Montagues with vigor, and can not bear to be in the same room with one of them. When he first challenges Romeo to a duel, he is not jesting. In actuality, he is being completely serious. This passion for fighting is what ultimately ends his life. When the scholar speaks of “low jokes”, he may be referring to Mercutio, who, throughout the play, constantly that were meant to appeal to the lower class during Shakespeare’s time. Mercutio, like Tybalt, was also incredibly passionate, which also brought the end of his life. These vehement emotions are parallel to the Montague-Capulet feud, which is also a result of intense feelings.

  16. maddy

    Within this excerpt, Professor Frank Kermode is evaluating the societal divide between adolescents and adults. He states that an adolescent will possess differing regards of love than an adult. It is also implied that the vulgarity and fervency of adolescents is not understood by their elders, which sustained the Montague-Capulet feud. “Romeo and Juliet” is written in Early Modern English; a convoluted dialect for a society that presently uses contemporary English. Thus, the majority of those who peruse this tragedy are adults. This statistic is explanatory as to why many readers do not relate with aspects of “Romeo and Juliet”. It is plausible that a vast amount of adults no longer consociate with their pubescent temperaments enough to find “Romeo and Juliet” relatable to the extent that adolescents do. In addition to adults who have perused this tragedy, adults within the tragedy itself did not wholly grasp the ways of adolescents. Friar Lawrence, Capulet, Lady Capulet, and among many others, were dismayed and perplexed at the decisions Romeo and Juliet made due to their love. In summation, I do concur with this excerpt. The points Professor Frank Kermode established are well-stated, and can be analyzed by numerous methods.

  17. ivanl

    In Professor Frank Kermode’s excerpt, he explains the idea of the older characters not understanding the younger characters and their “seperate nation.” He goes onto to say “For the hot blood which makes love at once a matter of rapture and low jokes is the same that keeps warm the obsolete Montague-Capulet feud.” He explains the hot blood between the two families, causing arguements and fights between the children, which goes on to “warm” the ongoing Montage-Capulet fight. So long as the children keep fighting with one another, with their jokes and insults at one another, so will the family feud. An example of this would be the opening scene, with the fight after the Capulet and Montague servants bite their thumbs at each other. This leads to a fight between the families, with everyone getting involved. However, we can see that they really don’t want to fight. Later at the party, Tybalt spots Romeo and wants to fight him right there, but Capulet shuts him down, telling him to leave the peace at the party. Overall, I agree with the critic. If the children had been able to agree with each other, and not pick fights with each other almost constantly, the long fighting would have stopped, the older people of the families have no interest in fighting each other.

  18. alexo

    Youth in this play is a separate nation; its customs are not understood by the old. For the hot blood which makes love at once a matter of rapture and low jokes is the same that keeps warm the obsolete Montague-Capulet feud. The same passions work toward both ends.

    The critic’s claim is that the old and young characters of Romeo and Juliet think differently and don’t understand each other, a claim that can be backed up. For example, we have Romeo and Juliet themselves! The old people of the play simply knew that Montagues should stay from Capulets. Romeo and Juliet also9 knew this full well but didn’t want to listen. They didn’t let the problems of their parents stop them from living their lives the way that they wanted. They fell in love and married.

    However, there is evidence to say that this is wrong, but I find it to be weak evidence. Friar Lawrence is very different in this way of thought, as he weds the star-crossed lovers, trying to get rid of the Montague-Capulet feud. However, almost all other old upper-class men and women in Verona agree that Montagues and Capulets should stay away from each other.

    I would say that I agree with the critic. i say this because the disconnect between old and young ultimately caused the crisis that the book is about.

  19. cameronl3

    In the excerpt, Professor Frank Kermode claims that youth is not well understood by their elders. He explains how youth is a totally different world compared to the old, that is simply unexplainable to the old. In the play of Romeo and Juliet we see many situations where older people may not understand some problems the characters face. Even in our daily lives, we see parents believing that they know everything that goes on in their children’s lives, when in reality, they do not understand a fraction of it. Being part of a new generation changes the perspective of everything as it shown in the play, where the adults despise the other household, but two kids fall in love, although they are “enemies.” Even with all of these, some older people do have a sense of what’s going on in more modern times. Although there are some like this, I still agree with the critics view on how children look at things versus adults.

  20. laurena2

    In this excerpt, Frank Kermode is explaining how adults are unable to understand the young love and passion that Romeo and Juliet have for each other. Many adults would view this play as a love story with a very tragic ending. However, kids understand the back story. Like Romeo and Juliet, kids are always changing. As we get older, not only are we physically but also mentally changing, just like Romeo and Juliet. Although they only knew each other for less than a week, they instantly fell in love and gave up their life for what they believed was right. However, Romeo was madly in love with Rosaline a week before. Kids do not truly understand what they want, and can never seem to be completely satisfied with the decision they made a day before. For adults, this play is about some silly kids that do not know what the really want in life. But you can’t blame teens for being teens.

  21. briannag3

    Professor Frank Kermode’s thesis in the excerpt is that the youth in Romeo and Juliet are in a different world apart from the adults and elders. The two groups don’t understand each other, which effects the plot of this play a great deal. Maybe if the adults would understand Romeo and Juliet’s love and accept it instead of just thinking about themselves, they wouldn’t have killed themselves. The elders just found it so irrational to even make peace sith their enemy that anything more than that was completely out of the question. I can also see how Kermode’s thesis pertains to everyday life. In our world today, it’s almost like the children are in a completely different place. Kids and adults might communicate but they really don’t understand each other fully. The adults are always more realiatic and down to earth, while young children always have their head in the clouds, out of realitly like they’re in some aort of fantasy world.

  22. eshap

    “Youth in this play is a separate nation; its customs are not understood by the old.  For the hot blood which makes love at once a matter of rapture and low jokes is the same that keeps warm the obsolete Montague-Capulet feud.  The same passions work toward both ends.” – Professor Kermode

    In this quote, Professor Kermode claims that the youth of the families in the play are often misunderstood. The two houses, Capulet and Montague, are very traditional. For example, the “ancient grudge” between them has continued through many years, each family honoring their ancestors by keeping their pride. However, Romeo and Juliet go against their family interests. Joining together for love, the two star-crossed lover ignored everything that was said by their parents to avoid the other.

    Throughout the play, each house put down the other, convincing their children to see the negative traits. Lady Capulet’s opinions were voiced many times, showing the Capulet hatred for the Montagues. When delivering the wonderful news of Paris’ proposal for marriage, she claims, “That same villain Romeo…That is because the traitor murderer lives.” (lines 85 and 89) In this scene, Lady Capulet states several times how Romeo is a villain. However, Juliet is misunderstood in her responses, as she is noting to how she loves Romeo. “Indeed, I never shall be satisfied with Romeo till I behold him – dead – is my poor heart, so for a kinsman vexed.” (lines 98-100) Here, Lady Capulet infers that Juliet wants Romeo dead, in order for what he did to Tybalt. This is due to the “hot blood” between the families, which originally began the duel between Romeo and Tybalt. However, Juliet actually means that without Romeo, her heart has no purpose left to serve.

    On the other hand, Professor Kermode could not be referring to Romeo and Juliet as “the youth”, but referring to the parents instead. This “ancient grudge” that has existed between them has been ongoing for several generations. “From ancient grudge break to new mutiny, where civil blood makes civil blood unclean.” (Act I prologue, lines 3-4) It wasn’t Capulet or Montague, Romeo and Juliet’s parents, who had initially commenced the dispute. It was their ancestors. An argument betwixt their ancestors has been passed down through the family, becoming a tradition that was lived out by Capulet and Montague. Although the reason for the original quarrel might have been reasonable, as it has passed down through many generations, the fight lost all cause. Capulet and Montague don’t know why they are fighting the other, being misunderstood. If they had simply overlooked the old dispute, the two families would have been able to live in peace.

    Overall, I do agree with Professor Kermode. He brings an interesting point of how the youth or not defying their family traditions, but are simply misunderstood. The “hot blood” between the families prevents the parents from seeing why Romeo could possibly have married Juliet. It is their love, not the “ancient grudge”, that finally joins the families together in the end. The parents had always thought for their children to be like them, however that was not the case. They were blinded by the “hot blood” of their dispute, unable to see that things could be different. Romeo and Juliet proved their parents wrong, by joining together in love, with intention of  hatred towards the other. Therefore, in the play Romeo and Juliet, the youth are misunderstood by their parents in their actions and words.

  23. willowm

    Professor Frank Kermode’s thesis is that the youth in the play are very passionate people, and that passion is not very well understood by the adults. For example, Capulet believed that Juliet should be married to Paris, a wealthy nobleman, and be grateful. Juliet went to the extent of plotting the unsuccessful plan in which she fakes death to get out of it. Juliet believes it is more important that she is married to the man she truly loves, Romeo, than to a wealthy man with the right last name. Her initial refusal infuriated Capulet, and he threatened to throw her out of his house. He could not understand why and perceived her disobedience as disrespect, when it was simply her passionate love for Romeo that prevented her from obeying her father. The professor says “For the hot blood which makes love at once a matter of rapture and low jokes is the same that keeps warm the obsolete Montague-Capulet feud.” This quote refers to how quickly Romeo and Juliet fall in love. It also says that the youth keep the feud alive, which I agree with. In the very beginning of the play we see some Capulets trying to pick a fight for no reason, throwing some lame insults (referred to as low humor in the quote) at a couple of Montagues. Also the fight later on between Romeo and Tybalt. Romeo’s crime was one of passion. He went quickly from passive to fighting Tybalt, telling him that one or both of them must die and join Mercutio. The adults only saw this as a violent act between Capulets and Montagues, they did not understand the passion behind it.The adults in this book have mostly tried to stop the fights between the two families, whereas the youth are often responsible for starting them due to their passionate hatred of their rival family.

  24. alekhya

    In this excerpt Frank Kermode is trying to say that elders do not understand the views and feelings of the youth. In Romeo and Juliet Juliet’s parents don’t seem to understand why Juliet does not want to marry Paris as they are not attempting to see it through her youthful eyes. But than Frank Kermode goes on to say that the youth and elders are the same in their passion. “For the hot blood which makes love at once a matter of rapture and low jokes is the same that keeps warm the obsolete Montague-Capulet feud. ” He is trying to say that the passion Romeo and Juliet share is the same passion that keeps the Montague-Capulet feud going for so long. Though it is not as significant we also see in Romeo and Juliet where a youth does not understand the ways of an elder. When Juliet send the Nurse to speak with Romeo she complains that if the Nurse had a youth’s blood and feelings she would come back sooner. “Had she affections and warm youthful blood, She would be as swift in motion as a ball;”

  25. George

    This critics thesis is very accurate. This book shows that young people are almost their own subculture compared to their parents and any others. They don’t think the feud is very important, they love and they act impulsive. This shows a divide between the adults and the teenagers like in the 1950’s when the word teenager was coined to describe the people that aren’t children but not adults.

  26. adam

    The critic states that there are multitudinous perspectives based on age. Also, that all of the characters think differently and don’t understand eachother, except for Romeo and Juliet. The youth thinks differently from the elders and as a result they do not understand eachother. There are many fuels to the family rivalry, and it is relationships like this that keep it going and have for such a long time. There are many examples where this claim is evident. Romeo discovers he is no longer interested in Rosaline and falls in love with Juliet. Friar Lawrence then talks to him saying it’s not true love and he has to wait. Also, Juliet doesn’t want to marry Paris and her parents didn’t know why, and couldn’t understand her. In the novel, if seems as if the youth have a different language than the adults. The only refute that one may see is how well the Nurse gets along with and understands Juliet, because she had raised her for quite some time. I agree with the critic, as the two languages between ages differ and develop to a misunderstanding between characters.


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