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    • POEM: All The World's A Stage by William Shakespeare (1/20/2009 5:53:00 AM)

      Shakespeare’s words ‘All the world’s a stage’ is an extended metaphor for the life of a human. Everybody is an actor of a stage that is called the ‘World’. We all have our entrances and exits which are birth and death. Shakespeare represents it by calling it ‘The seven ages of man’. At first, the infant and childhood; then the lover and soldier, followed by the justice, old age and finally dying.

      The first age is infancy. Shakespeare describes the baby as a ‘mewling’ and ‘puking’ - both things that a baby does when it is born. In this age, the human being is very dependent on others and needs to be looked after. Shakespeare used the simile: ‘Then the whining school-boy … creeping like a snail, unwilling to school.’ This shows that the boy hates school and he did not enjoy it.

      Followed by the simile of the lover, ‘signing like a furnace, with a woeful ballad, made to the mistress’ eyebrow.’ In this age, human are becoming adolescents. The soldier is the fifth age. At that time human becomes a young adult and starts to think more about others but not himself. The man here is very hot headed and silly and can even do something that costs its life. The words Shakespeare used ‘Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel, seeking the bubble reputation, even in the cannon’s mouth.’ in his piece of writing.

      Then the justice, with wise and wisdom, ‘shifts into the lean and slipper’d pantaloon’ now, he becomes more tentative and enjoys life. The old age made him lose his charm in both physical and mental ways. His ‘big manly voice is also turning back into a child’s’ and shrinks in stature and personality.

      Lastly, the dementia and death, ‘that ends this strange eventful history, ’ he loses his status and he becomes a man that is not useful. He is now as innocent as a child and becomes dependent. In Shakespeare’s words, ‘Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste’ means ‘sans everything.’ When he does not have anything, he dies.