William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

All The World's A Stage - Poem by William Shakespeare

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 honor, 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.

Comments about All The World's A Stage by William Shakespeare

  • Gold Star - 68,481 Points Fabrizio Frosini (11/27/2015 10:15:00 AM)

    The idea of the 'WORLD as a STAGE', though not original, was a metaphor Shakespeare appreciated, being an actor, stage writer and theatre proprietor.

    He uses it frequently and, of course, it fits in nicely with the metaphor of human life as a play with actors.

    Another of Shakespeare’s favourite soliloquies is the ‘Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow’ passage where Macbeth compares his life to that of a short, emotional performance by an actor on a stage:

    ‘A walking shadow, a poor player
    That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
    And then is heard no more: it is a tale
    Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
    Signifying nothing.’

    - Macbeth: Act 5, Scene 5 - (Report) Reply

    3 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Gold Star - 68,481 Points Fabrizio Frosini (11/27/2015 10:07:00 AM)

    About the 7 ages of man:

    Shakespeare did not invent the idea of the stages of life: philosophers have been addressing it for millennia. Aristotle had four ages of man and they were extended to seven in the middle ages where philosophical and religious lists were usually in sevens. (The seven deadly sins, the seven sacraments, the seven heavenly virtues, and so on) . By the time the Elizabethan age arrived it was a most familiar idea and Shakespeare’s audience would immediately have recognised the concept.
    [in ''No Sweat Shakespeare''] (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 68,481 Points Fabrizio Frosini (11/27/2015 8:24:00 AM)

    In As You Like It, Act 2 Scene 7, Shakespeare has Jaques talk through the ‘seven ages of man’. According to Shakespeare’s monologue the seven ages of man are:

    Stage 1, Infancy: A helpless baby, just crying and throwing up.

    Stage 2, Schoolboy: This is where his formal education starts but he is not entirely happy with school. His mother is ambitious for him and has washed his face thoroughly before sending him off to school but he goes very slowly and reluctantly.

    Stage 3, Teenager: He’s grown into his late teens and his main interest is girls. He’s likely to make a bit of a fool of himself with them. He is sentimental, sighing and writing poems to girls, making himself a bit ridiculous.

    Stage 4, Young man: He’s a bold and fearless soldier – passionate in the causes he’s prepared to fight for and quickly springs into action. He works on developing his reputation and takes risks to that end.

    Stage 5, Middle aged: He regards himself as wise and experienced and doesn’t mind sharing his views and ideas with anyone and likes making speeches. He’s made a name for himself and is prosperous and respected. As a result of his success he’s become vain. He enjoys the finer things of life, like good food.

    Stage 6, Old man: He is old and nothing like his former self – physically or mentally. He looks and behaves like an old man, dresses like one and he has a thin piping voice now. His influence slips away.

    Stage 7, Dotage and death: He loses his mind in senility. His hair and teeth fall out and his sight goes. Then he loses everything as he sinks into the oblivion of death.
    [in ''No Sweat Shakespeare''] (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 574 Points Sk Nurul Huda (11/25/2015 7:33:00 PM)

    a true saying presented truly......a substance of human life.........great graet and great......... (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 0 Points Brenda Marie Batty (10/22/2015 8:24:00 PM)

    Undoubtably he feared growing old.... (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 0 Points Brenda Marie Batty (10/22/2015 8:21:00 PM)

    Did he fear of growing old and dying! ? Undoubtably he did...J (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 188 Points Tee Daniel (10/19/2015 6:53:00 AM)

    Nice nice nice nice nice and nice (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 68,481 Points Fabrizio Frosini (10/17/2015 10:31:00 AM)

    ''The Seven Ages of Man'', in William Shakespeare’s ''AS YOU LIKE IT''.
    Jacques delivers these lines as a monologue in Act II, Scene VIII. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 318 Points Amos O. Ojwang' (10/17/2015 3:52:00 AM)

    this is one of the most read poems in my former school poetry evaluation class. i still find it interesting to read the poem on and on (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 695 Points Pius Didier (10/8/2015 12:54:00 PM)

    Alright, a good thought though not well organized. It appears more of a story. Good work anyway. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 0 Points Ayy Lmao (10/6/2015 8:40:00 AM)

    ssssssssssssssssssssssssssuckmydick (Report) Reply

    Rookie - 0 Points Ayy Lmao (10/6/2015 8:41:00 AM)


  • Rookie - 84 Points Benjamin Tetteh (9/23/2015 3:00:00 PM)

    ooooow these are sweet words in my ears. Well painted action. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 168 Points Victoria Christina Royaldo (9/16/2015 6:28:00 PM)

    one of the greatest poems ever written (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 0 Points manoj gupta (9/15/2015 12:48:00 AM)

    I can just give a chance Already Reported Reply

  • Rookie - 406 Points George Hill (9/9/2015 9:10:00 AM)

    This man is no poet.I lost inteest at the word seven then read slightly further to find him write puke(whom would admire this garbage?) .Is there anypoet that can hold mine attention for 1/10 of their poem? (Report) Reply

  • Veteran Poet - 1,523 Points Briony Nicholls (8/29/2015 8:51:00 AM)

    The last part is very cruel indeed. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 36,621 Points * Sunprincess * (8/28/2015 8:01:00 PM)

    ........a most incredible poem...I especially love the first two lines ★ (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Navendu shekhar (8/27/2015 12:14:00 AM)

    It realy explains everything about the life. Already Reported Reply

  • Rookie - 0 Points Aidelokhai Victor (8/20/2015 3:34:00 AM)

    Wow! my great mentor he has d ability to crave us into his poetry life! I love it (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 804 Points Hemendra Singh Deopa (8/16/2015 3:37:00 PM)

    So meaningful and how rue is everything, every word. (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: ballad, soldier, justice, history, school, women, world, woman

Poem Submitted: Monday, January 20, 2003

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