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.

-William Shakespeare

Analysis:

All the world’s a stage is a monologue in William Shakespeare’s play ‘As you like it’. William Shakespeare is a renowned playwright to this day.

All the men and women are the players of their life. Their fate and life are in their hands. All men and women go through the life cycle of birth and death. During this life cycle, all men play different roles. His performances being seven different ages. In the beginning, all men and women play the role of an infant. Crying and puking on the nurse.

Then, he grows to be a schoolboy, who is very hesitant to go to school and drags his school bag along with his long morning face, walking as slow as a creeping snail. Later in the years, he plays the role of a lover, where he sings sad poems and ballads to his beloved.

Then to play a role of solider, with a heavy beard, taking oaths for the country. Here men seek fame, which is temporary. He endangers his life for a reputation and power which is short lived.

Fifth role is a middle-aged man, whose belly has grown round by eating fattened cock, and also adorns a formally cut beard. He looks weak in the eyes due to his age. He has had many experiences in life which has made him wise and modern.

In the sixth stage, the man slips into old-age, where he becomes lean with a weak eye-sight which makes him wear spectacles. He wears warm hoses around his shrunken figure. His manly and youthful voice is trembling and childish like a child’s. The last phase of all, that ends the cycle of life, is the second stage to old-age, where the man forgets his life. He becomes really old and weak, he has lost it all. His old age has made him lose his teeth, eyes, taste of food and everything he has experienced.

Through this monologue Shakespeare wants his readers to understand to spend their lives bravely and intelligently. The only thing that will remain with you is your achievements. Don’t just survive, live.

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