All The World Is A Stage...


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More by William Shakespeare

Metaphor examples in the poem: The entire poem itself is more like symbolism; men and women are portrayed as players whereas life is portrayed as the stage. Repetition is another figure of speech used in this poem; words like sans, age, etc. The poet has used a narrative form to express his innermost emotions about how he thinks that the world is a stage and all the people living in it are mere players or characters. These characters go through seven different phases in their lives. Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel And shining morning face, creeping like snail Unwillingly to school.

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.

William Shakespeare

Last scene of all, That ends this strange eventful history, Is second childishness and mere oblivion, Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything. As the poem begins, you are dragged to a stage. It is like you are the audience, and you are watching a drama on the stage, right in front of your eyes. When the man enters into the world, he has seven different ages or phases to go through. When he goes through these ages, he has to play different roles. These roles depict a man as a son, his responsibilities as a brother, father, husband, fighter for the nation, etc.

The man begins his act on the stage as an infant; he pukes in the arms of his nurse and cries to be in the comfort of his mother. Jaques' focus on the "mistress' eyebrow," an inconsequential item on the face, reveals a lack of inspiration—that same lack he seems to be exhibiting for each stage of man's existence. At this stage, the man becomes full of himself, as he goes in search of a reputation, even though it may be one that bursts as easily as a bubble. The man then takes "strange oaths," while wearing his facial hair "like a pard. Jaques decides that looking into the mouth of a cannon is an unsuitable place to establish a stellar reputation.

It needs to be kept in mind that these ages of man's life and their evaluations are just the opinion of this speaker who is making these descriptions. By the fifth age, the man is accumulating body flesh as he undergoes the unpleasant increase often called "middle-age spread. While the man at this state may seem capable of spouting wise aphorisms, Jaques does not take such wisdom seriously, asserting that the man is only playing "his part" in this life as a play where "all the world's a stage.

As chronological age has moved the man forward, he lands on the stage where he has difficulty even maintaining his earlier activities. He no longer fits into his clothes because he has become thin, losing that round belly from before. The man at this advanced stage sports glasses to assist his failing vision. With his shrinking body, even his voice is undergoing a transformation from its "manly" huskiness to that of a childish whine, reminiscent of the schoolboy. Jaques, who is after all French, then calls the last stage one wherein the man is "Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

Each stage has produced a progression leading to a state of virtual nothingness, or worse—a man, who has become a pathetic child, returning to near infancy from where he started. Scholars and critics of Elizabethan literature have determined that the sequence of Shakespeare sonnets may be classified into three thematic categories: 1 Marriage Sonnets ; 2 Muse Sonnets , traditionally identified as the "Fair Youth"; and 3 Dark Lady Sonnets It is likely that the young man is Henry Wriothesley, the third earl of Southampton, who is being urged to marry Elizabeth de Vere, the oldest daughter of Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford.

Many scholars and critics now argue persuasively that Edward de Vere is the writer of the works attributed to the nom de plume , "William Shakespeare. Conceiv'd out of the fullest heat and pulse of European feudalism — personifying in unparalleled ways the medieval aristocracy, its towering spirit of ruthless and gigantic caste, with its own peculiar air and arrogance no mere imitation — only one of the "wolfish earls" so plenteous in the plays themselves, or some born descendant and knower, might seem to be the true author of those amazing works — works in some respects greater than anything else in recorded literature.

For more information regarding Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, as the real writer of the Shakespearean canon, please visit The De Vere Society , an organization that is "dedicated to the proposition that the works of Shakespeare were written by Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford.

The speaker in this section of sonnets is exploring his talent, his dedication to his art, and his own soul power. In some sonnets, the speaker addresses his muse, in others he addresses himself, and in others he even addresses the poem itself. Even though many scholars and critics have traditionally categorized this group of sonnets as the "Fair Youth Sonnets," there is no "fair youth," that is "young man," in these sonnets.

There is no person at all in this sequence, with exception of the two problematic sonnets, and Sonnet and present a problem in categorization.


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While most of the sonnets in the "Muse Sonnets" do focus on the poet's musings about his writing talent and do not focus on a human being, sonnets and are speaking to a young man, respectively calling him "sweet boy" and "lovely boy. The themes of sonnets and would better categorize with the "Marriage Sonnets" because they do address a "young man. While most scholars and critics tend to categorize the sonnets into the three-themed schema, others combine the "Marriage Sonnets" and the "Fair Youth Sonnets" into one group of "Young Man Sonnets. Sonnet 99 might be considered somewhat problematic: it features 15 lines instead of the traditional 14 sonnet lines.

The rest of the sonnet follows the regular rime, rhythm, and function of the traditional sonnet. Sonnets and are also somewhat problematic. They are classified with the Dark Lady Sonnets, but they function quite differently from the bulk of those poems. Sonnet is a paraphrase of Sonnet ; thus, they carry the same message.

The two final sonnets dramatize the same theme, a complaint of unrequited love, while outfitting the complaint with the dress of mythological allusion. The speaker employs the services of the Roman god Cupid and the goddess Diana. In the bulk of the "dark lady" sonnets, the speaker has a been addressing the woman directly, or making it clear that what he is saying is intended for her ears. In the final two sonnets, the speaker is not directly addressing the mistress.

He does mention her, but he is speaking now about her instead of directly to her. He is now making it quite clear that he is withdrawing from the drama with her.

"All the World's a Stage" by William Shakespeare

The speaker of the poem is metaphorically comparing a human being's lifetime to that of an actor on a stage. Before beginning his heady analysis of the seven ages through which each human being's life develops, the character named Jaques begins his extended metaphor playing on the word "stage" by asserting, "All the world's a stage. What are some supportive points that support Shakespeare saying that society is a world stage in "All the world's a stage"?

A Shakespeare Poem: "All the world's a stage"

Spotlighting an example man, Jaques states that this "anyman," or perhaps, "everyman," is likely to "play many parts" in the play. If you continue browsing the site, you agree to the use of cookies on this website. See our User Agreement and Privacy Policy. See our Privacy Policy and User Agreement for details. Published on May 7, All the World's a Stage. SlideShare Explore Search You. Submit Search.

Speech: “All the world’s a stage” by William Shakespeare | Poetry Foundation

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