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

  • Loppo Louie Loppo Louie (1/21/2016 9:26:00 PM)

    A classic Will poem.. (Report) Reply

    3 person liked.
    7 person did not like.
  • * Sunprincess * (1/12/2016 5:59:00 PM)

    ...........always has been one of my favorites ★ (Report) Reply

  • Geoffrey Plowden (1/9/2016 4:30:00 PM)

    This was condensed by the late Robert Conquest into the following (one or two words may be wrong) :
    At first, there is mewking and puling,

    At first, there is mewking and puling,
    Then grudgingly walking to schooling,
    Then f...s, and then fights
    Then judging men's rights,
    Then sitting in slippers, then drooling. (Report) Reply

  • Menato 10 (1/9/2016 12:54:00 AM)

    Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything. amazing poem (Report) Reply

  • richard khupe (1/8/2016 11:46:00 AM)

    Wonderful (Report) Reply

  • Aman.hussain200155@gmail.com Hussain (1/7/2016 4:49:00 AM)

    Seven ages of human life. Lovely poem (Report) Reply

  • Geeta Radhakrishna Menon Geeta Radhakrishna Menon (1/4/2016 11:59:00 PM)

    An outstanding poem that can never be forgotten! (Report) Reply

  • The Poet Poet (12/26/2015 10:47:00 PM)

    when I hadn't met Shakespeare
    i composed
    This world's a stage
    where men and gals

    gals have one brain
    and a heart
    they use both together

    guys have two heads
    and deceitful heart
    they don't use all together
    but mostly use
    their lower

    I thought all gals by now knew
    having experienced the net
    volatile as it may be
    they often have seen guys
    for love only
    then having poured all
    they scram

    that's why
    I always tell gals
    play safe
    use condoms

    but none listens
    till becomes full their tummy
    whose is it he asks?
    she can't say yours
    and he knows

    so play safe
    from this love game

    as the maternity
    is a mere fact only
    paternity is hearsay
    if I may say
    listen or not
    'tis your will
    God IF ANY

    will anyway remain

    SI L E N T AND
    S T A T U E still

    are its toys
    and God is
    Child himself...'

    in school we had a big doll house
    with tin soldiers (Report) Reply

  • Ricky Cloud (12/25/2015 1:25:00 PM)

    Explicitly inchanting. (Report) Reply

    The Poet Poet (12/26/2015 10:48:00 PM)

    enchanting yes ricksy

  • Edward Kofi Louis (12/23/2015 9:05:00 AM)

    We are on a journey on this earth. Nice work. (Report) Reply

  • Terry Craddock Terry Craddock (12/15/2015 6:32:00 AM)

    always loved this poem, since decades past in teenage years; even stopped to find a poem with a stage in it I wrote long ago, will paste it here though many may not get or like it, integrity personal accountability is not in fashion, but it should be :)

    Set On A Smaller Stage

    We are living enactment
    of drama centuries old
    Repeated in multiple variations
    across celestial sphere.

    The plot is written
    each classic line defined.
    Actors stand ready
    poised in position.

    Ripples ever
    descending though time.

    Neither of us can deny
    that which we are.
    You Judas I Jesus
    for a mere 30 pieces of silver.

    You would sell my life
    together with your soul.
    A tragedy, for
    neither of us will, forsake

    our chosen role.

    Copyright © Terence George Craddock
    Written in September 1987. (Report) Reply

  • Nilu Majhi (12/15/2015 2:12:00 AM)

    I enjoyed the poem a lot. (Report) Reply

  • Hardik Garg (15 Yrs) Hardik Garg (15 Yrs) (12/10/2015 3:46:00 AM)

    An excellent poem by the best Playwright of all time. Hats off! (Report) Reply

  • Fabrizio Frosini 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

  • Fabrizio Frosini 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

  • Fabrizio Frosini 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

  • Sk Nurul Huda 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

    Shazly Hasan (11/29/2015 8:38:00 AM)

    why not u r also great dear

  • Brenda Marie Batty (10/22/2015 8:24:00 PM)

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

  • Brenda Marie Batty (10/22/2015 8:21:00 PM)

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

  • Tee Daniel Tee Daniel (10/19/2015 6:53:00 AM)

    Nice nice nice nice nice and nice (Report) Reply

Read all 118 comments »

What do you think this poem is about?

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

Poem Submitted: Monday, January 20, 2003

[Hata Bildir]