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All the Worlds a Stage is the phrase that begins a famous monologue from William Shakespeares As You Like It, spoken by the melancholy Jaques.

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Introduction

Introductory Commentary Exercise All the World's a Stage: William Shakespeare All the World's a Stage is the phrase that begins a famous monologue from William Shakespeare's "As You Like It", spoken by the melancholy Jaques. The speech compares the world to a stage and life to a play, and catalogues the seven stages of a man's life, sometimes referred to as the seven ages of man: infant, schoolboy, lover, solider, justice, pantaloons, and second childhood, "sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything". It is one of Shakespeare's most frequently-quoted passages. The seven ages originally came from "The Seven Ages of Woman" by Hans Baldung Grien and it is through these stages of which the protagonist undergoes. ...read more.

Middle

The pessimism in the reader's tone suggests that the "school-boy" who goes to school "unwillingly" with his book bag his "shining morning face", no doubt scrubbed by his mother; is clearly his own disdain for school and thus the "creeping like a snail"/ The lover's stage is no more pleasant than the "puking" infant or relocation school-boy, for his behavior resembled a "sighing" "furnace" while he sings a "woeful ballad / Made to his mistress' eyebrow". The focus and detail on such an inconsequential facial part reinforces the author's lack of inspiration. The next age finds the man full of himself: seeking for a reputation that is burst like a "bubble". ...read more.

Conclusion

Despite the change, Jaques is still unable to view the situation seriously, asserting that it is only "his party" in this play where "all the world's a stage". The sixth and chronological age has taken the man into a stage where earlier activities prove to be a task. His body has "shrunk" and thus, he can no longer fit into his clothes. He wears "spectacles on nose and pouch on side" while the voice that was once "big" and "manly" is now "turning again toward childish treble". The most pathetic, and there last age, is his "second childishness"/ During this final act, he is but without teeth eyes, taste or rather, without "everything". Demonstrating his strength, Jaques uses the term "sans" to state all those things the seventh age is "without": "Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything". ...read more.

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