2 William Shakespeare This poem is written by William Shakespeare. William Shakespeare (26 April 1564 – 23 April 1616) was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon" (or simply "The Bard"). His surviving works consist of 38 plays 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright .
3 All the world’s a stageAnd all men and women merely players:They have their exits and their entrances;And one men in his time plays many parts,His acts being seven ages.Word meanings-Stage- a platformMerely- onlyPlayers- (here) actors/actressesExits- a way by which a one goes outEntrances- a way by which one enters
4 IntroductionIn this poem, the poet William Shakespeare compares the world to a stage in a theatre in which men and women have to play different roles in their life time. Each player has his/her entrance and exit. When they are born in this world it is their entrance and when they die it is their exit. They come to this stage, play different roles and bid good-bye. These parts, acts or stages are normally seven.
5 Questions:-Explain the metaphor in the first line?What does the words ‘exits’ and ‘entrances’ mean in the above context?How many parts does one play in his life?Who are the players here?What is extended meaning of the phrase “one man in his life time”?
6 At first the infant,mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.Word Meanings-Infant- a baby/very small kidMewling- cryingPuking- vomiting
7 First stage- InfantThe poet describes the birth of the child as the first act of the drama of human life. The human baby cries and vomits in the nurse’s arms. According the poet the baby is very innocent. At his birth he is full of joy but still he starts crying and weeping on very small matters as he has no sense. In this stanza the poet describes about the dependence of baby on others. He also tells about child’s simplicity.
8 Questions:-Which stage is described here?What does the poet mean by stating that the infant cries and vomits in the nurse’s arms?
9 Then the whining school boy, with his satchel And shining morning face, creeping like a snailUnwillingly to school.Word Meanings:-Whining- complainingSatchel- a small bag to carry school booksShining- brightCreeping- crawling/slowly slowlySnail- a small soft animal that moves very slowly.Unwillingly- not interested/ not wishing
10 Second stage- School boy After some time as the child grows up, he starts going to school. The poet describes this school going age as the second act of human’s life. At this stage the boy has a shining face and he is very neat and clean. While going to school, he carries a bag of books. He goes to school unwillingly, creeping like a snail. He is not happy to go to school. Two phrases which shows his unwillingness in going to school are –Whining school boyCreeping like a snail unwillingly.
11 Questions:-Which stage of human life is described in these lines?Write down the two phrases which indicate that the boy is not willing to go to school?Do you think the poet is right in making the generalization about the school boy?Why does the poet say that the school boy creeps like a snail to school?
12 And then the lover,Sighing like a furnace, with a woeful balladMade to his mistress’ eyebrows.Word Meanings:-Sighing- breathing deeplyFurnace- a fireplaceWoeful ballad- a very sad poemMade to- dedicated toMistress- belovedEyebrows- the brow over the eyes
13 Third stage- LoverThe third role that a person plays in his life, according to the poet, is of lover. Shakespeare presents the teenager or an adolescent boy as a lover. The poet says that in this age the boy is greatly impressed by a beautiful face of a girl. He sighs loudly due to his frustration in love just like a furnace. The lover sighs loudly just like the sound of bellows in the furnace.The lover also sing songs in praise of his beloved.
14 Questions:-Which stage of human life is described in this extract?Why does the poet say that the lover sighs like a furnace with a sad song dedicated to his beloved?How is lover described?
15 Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard, Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,Seeking the bubble reputationEven in the cannon’s mouthWord Meanings:-Strange- unknownOaths- solemn promiseBearded- having a beardPard- leopard (a symbol of fierceness in Shakespeare’s time)Jealous- enviousSeeking- findingBubble reputation- transitory fameCannon’s mouth- mouth of a big gun
16 Fourth stage- SoldierAfter the lover comes the stage of a soldier. The poet describes the main characteristics of the lover as follows :-The soldier is full of strange oaths.He is bearded like a leopard.He is jealous in matters concerning honour.He is quick in quarrels and is ready to fight for small things.He seeks reputation which is short lived, but for the soldier it matters more than his life. For this he is even ready to face a canons mouth. Facing a canon invites sure death but it also provides honour and glory to the brave soldier.
17 Questions:-Which stage of human life is described here? What are the main characteristics of this stage?What is “bubble reputation”? How is it linked with the cannon’s mouth?
18 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.Word Meanings:-Justice- judgeSaws- sayingsBelly- stomachCapon- a fat and big male chickenLined- filled withSevere- harsh looking
19 Fifth stage- JudgeThen comes the middle age. The fifth stage is that of a judge. He becomes a mature person in this age. He has severe eyes and a beard of fashionable cut and is well dressed. He has a fat round belly which indicates his love for food. He quotes many sayings and examples to show his wisdom. His eyes become harsh looking and he becomes strict in his behavior.
20 Questions:-How does the justice look like?How do his eyes look?What is so specific of a man in this stage of life?
21 The sixth age shiftsInto the lean and slippered pantaloon,With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wideFor his shrunk shrank; and his big manly voice,Turning again toward childish treble, pipesAnd whistles in his soundWord meanings:-Lean – thinSlippered pantaloon- a funny old man wearing slippersSpectacles- eyeglasses
22 Pouch- a soft fold of loose skin that hangs down as a result of as a result of illness or old age. Youthful hose- tight fitting leg coverings of young days.Well saved- preserved wellA world too wide- (here) very looseShrunk shrank- thin, weak and shrunk legs from knee to the anklesManly- manlikeTreble- a high voicePipes and whistles- sings
23 Sixth Stage- Old ManThe sixth stage of a person is of an old man. During this stage he becomes weak in health and thin in body. He wears spectacles on his nose and wears slippers. He wears clothes of his youth which have become very lose to his shrunk body. His voice becomes hoarse and rough. He has a soft and loose skin that hangs down as a result of illness and old age. In his slippers and loose fitting garments he looks a funny old man-a pantaloon-a comic figure.
24 Questions:-Which stage of man’s life is described in these lines?Give a brief description of how a man appears in this stage of life?What happens to man’s voice in this stage? Why does it start piping and whistling?
25 Last scene of all,That ends this strange eventful history,Is second childishness and mere oblivion,Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.Word meanings:-Eventful- full of significant incidentsMere- onlyOblivion- forgetfulnessSans- without
26 The seventh age- Extremely old man According the poet the last stage is of extremely old man. This act shows him as a helpless baby. At this age the man becomes extremely old and is at door of death. He loses control on all the senses. He is toothless, he has problem in hearing clearly, becomes weak in eyesight and fails to recognise people, his memory becomes weak. So in this way most of his characteristics are similar to that of an infant.
27 Questions:-What is this stage?How does man look like in this stage of life?What is the stage preceding the last stage?What is the similarity between the first stage and the last stage of human life?Why does the man becomes forgetful in the last stage of life?Why does he lose all the charms of life?