At the end of Skakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, what has the older generation  learned about themselves and their relationship with the younger characters? If you don't feel that they have learned anything about the relationship that existed between them and the younger characters, please state why :) ! Thanks so much !

Expert Answers

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By the end of the play, the older folks have learned that their actions affect their young ones.  Both the Capulets and the Montagues lose a child.  It is enough to cause them to realize that they were wrong, and to end the feud.

Capulet makes the first overture.  He makes a gesture of friendship to Montague.

O brother Montague, give me thy hand.

This is my daughter's jointure, for no more

Can I demand. (Act 5, Scene 3, p. 115)

This is a pretty amazing gesture, since not too long ago he was willing to kill any Montague.  He is saddened by the fact that he caused his daughter’s death.  When he saw her bleeding, it was a shock to him.  He thought she died in her sleep.  He also had just lost his wife, causing him to be further saddened.

Montague also responds with a gesture in kind.  He is no longer hot-headed.  He wants to bury the strife as well.

But I can give thee more;(310)

For I will raise her statue in pure gold,

That whiles Verona by that name is known,

There shall no figure at such rate be set

As that of true and faithful Juliet. (Act 5, Scene 3, p. 115)

There is a little bit of one-upmanship her, because Montague offers a statue and Capulet responds by offering to allow Romeo to remain in Juliet’s tomb.  Yet they both agree to not fight any more, so they have learned from their mistakes.  Their feud cost them their children’s lives.

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