Thursday, February 27, 2014

Shakespeare: All the World's a Stage

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.
Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon's mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slippered pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything. 


The meaning of All the  World's a Stage , is to pull the rug from under us. Th voice he hear is not Shakespeare's but that of a chronically depressed and unemployed nobleman, hanging around the court- in- exile of a deposed Duke. He is responding to the Duke saying that there are some people who are even worse off than he is by replying that everybody is actually playing the same role in life. We cannot aspire to an individual happiness greater than the misery which is thought of all men. He does not talk about women at all, but if he did, he'd say the same thing. He said that each man's finite life is nothing but an act, and as the man progresses in his life, the scenes and acts each shift accordingly. Then he becomes a lover, who is sad about having to leave his mistress and pours out his feeling in the form of ballads. He also becomes a soldier, who guards his reputation with his life and will defend it with anything. He compares people misfortunes with his own and tells them how to solve them.By this time he has become rather fat, something seemed as a sign of prosperity. Then becomes a weak,feeble old man who wears glasses and has shrunk to a thin, pitiful state and has a shrill, high pitched voice. The last stage is that of a old man, who is almost like an infant oblivious of his surroundings and who has lost everything in his lif, material, wise and as well as emotional wise.      

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