One Man In His Time Plays Many Parts

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One Man In His Time Plays Many Parts”

Shakespeare’s use of metaphor in seeing the world as a stage and life as a play to be acted out on this stage is simple and effective. Mankind becomes a player on this stage and life is broken down into seven ages. During these seven ages each person can play many different parts.

He starts with the infant.

“Mewling and Puking in the nurses arms”

This indicates a derogatory attitude to the helpless infant who is dependent on the nurse. The infant has now grown into a schoolboy and the mewling has now become whining.

        “Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel

        And shining morning face, creeping like snail

        Unwillingly to school.”

His attitude has changes and the tone is more sympathetic. The ugly infant has now become a schoolboy with a shining morning face. The lover grows from the schoolboy and he develops from a reluctant student to a sensitive young man. Shakespeare adapts a playful tone.

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        “Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad

        Made to his mistress’ eyebrow.”

When speaking of the soldier a cynical tone emerges.

        “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.”

The soldier changes and plays the part of the well fed wise judge. He has an outward appearance of severity and quote wise sayings. A mocking tone is apparent here.

        “Full of wise saws and modern instances;”

Now growing older and thinner. Last in his now too big clothes. Breathing ...

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