Poem: All the World’s a Stage Appreciation and Explanation. All the World’s a Stage is written by the great poet William Shakespeare. It is about the seven stages of life of every person. The poet describes how the man plays seven roles in his life.
Introduction: Poem: All the World’s a Stage Appreciation and Explanation
William Shakespeare (1564-1616) was an English poet, playwright and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world’s prominent dramatist. He is often called England’s national poet and the “Bard of Avon”.
This poem is taken from his play ‘As You Like It’. Here, he compares the world to a stage where the drama of human life is enacted.
Poem: All the World’s a Stage Appreciation and Explanation
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 honour, 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
Explanation: Poem: All the World’s a Stage Appreciation and Explanation
- The poem All the World’s a Stage is written by the great poet William Shakespeare. It is a monologue. The poem begins with a metaphor. The poet describes the world as a stage and people of the world are players or actors as they have to perform their role in this stage that is the world. They have their exits and entrances in this world. Every man in his life span has to play many parts that mean many stages of life from born to death. Man plays different acts in his life, the poet mention in this poem the seven stages or parts of life from them every man goes through.
- At first, the infant stage comes because naturally, the first stage of man is infancy. In this stage, the man plays the child role. In his soft and low voice, the child does mewling and takes care of the nurse’s protection. The child does puking and it’s a natural process of every infant.
- Then the second stage is the schoolboy, in this stage, the man plays the schoolboy’s role. As naturally in this stage everyone goes to school and learns. The poet mentions how a man plays the role in this stage of life. The schoolboy goes unwillingly to school with a school bag (satchel) with a glowing face but with a slowly creeping snail.
- Then the third stage comes, as maturity comes into everyone’s life, that time man plays the Lover’s role. The poet says that the lover loves his loved one. In love, the lover shows his love but not every time gets success so in such a mood sighing like a furnace and with the sad song (woeful ballad) expresses his love to his beloved.
- Then the fourth stage comes, that is the soldier. In this stage, the man faces the challenges as the soldier does that’s why this stage is called soldier by the poet. In this stage of life, the man faces strange challenges with his ambitions (oaths). In this stage, the man looks like a leopard (pard) who is very active. Man wants to honour and for honour man does everything. If a man doesn’t get honour, he feels joules. In this stage, the man is very aggressive because suddenly and quickly he falls into quarrels. Even with a false reputation man do anything even if he may face great danger in life.
- Then the fifth stage comes, which is justice. In this stage, the man has great wisdom and knowledge from his experience. The man starts to judge things. Poet mentions the physical appearance of man as in this stage man looks fatty and has a round belly due to excess fat from careless eating habits. In this stage, the man becomes serious about things (With eyes severe) and always uses a formal cut beard it means in this stage man is serious in life and lives life with a formal look. In this stage, man has so many wise things and modern examples to say. In this way, the man plays his part in life.
- Then the sixth stage comes, in this stage, the man becomes lean, old or stats his old ages and wears loose pants due to weak body. The man wears spectacles on his nose and a pouch on his side. Whatever the man used to wear in his youth, all the clothes now become loose for him because his feet become boney. His manly voice of him becomes weak. it comes so weak that not have any energy in voice sound.
- Then the last seventh stage comes, in this scene, the man has whatever history or past has created that ends. It is the second childishness that comes as a child the man becomes helpless. It is the stage of man where a man turns into the stage of being unaware or unconscious of what is happening. In this stage, the man remains without teeth, eyes, and taste and lost everything in life.
- Thus, in this way, the poet describes the seven stages of man who plays every role in the seven parts/stages of life.
- players : actors
- puking : throwing up, vomitting
- satchel : school bag
- woeful ballad : sad poem/song
- pard : poetical short form of ‘leopard’
- cannon’s mouth : facing great danger to life
- with good capon lined : with excess fat from careless eating habits
- saws : sayings
- youthful hose : closefitting covering for legs.
- shank : legs (knee to ankle)
- treble : (here) three times weaker than
- second childishness : a return to the helpless, ignorant state of a child
- sans : without
- oblivion : the state of being unaware or unconscious of surroundings and happenings
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