The conflict between Juliet and her father is another example of the disparity between young and old, which appears several times in Act 3. Romeo speaks of Friar Laurence’s ignorance of his love for Juliet, saying that the Friar could never understand because he is not “young.” Furthermore, the final scene reveals how adults can no longer understand youthful passion. Lady Capulet refuses to consider Juliet’s refusal to marry Paris, and even the Nurse speaks of Paris as a virtuous man worthy of her hand (thus revealing her underlying resentment of her young charge). In response to the Nurse’s patronizing description of Paris, Juliet shouts, "Ancient damnation!" (). This serves as both reference to the Nurse's age and to the problems she must deal with, all of which have been created by a feud that has its roots in the older generation. Romeo and Juliet are two young people, who have fallen inescapably in love - only to butt up against the political machinations of their elders - a quandary that has resonated emotionally with teenagers for generations.
With a lightning-quick wit and a clever mind, Mercutio is a scene stealer and one of the most memorable characters in all of Shakespeare’s works. Though he constantly puns, jokes, and teases—sometimes in fun, sometimes with bitterness—Mercutio is not a mere jester or prankster. With his wild words, Mercutio punctures the romantic sentiments and blind self-love that exist within the play. He mocks Romeo s self-indulgence just as he ridicules Tybalt’s hauteur and adherence to fashion. The critic Stephen Greenblatt describes Mercutio as a force within the play that functions to deflate the possibility of romantic love and the power of tragic fate. Unlike the other characters who blame their deaths on fate, Mercutio dies cursing all Montagues and Capulets. Mercutio believes that specific people are responsible for his death rather than some external impersonal force.