All the World Stage – A New Anthology of English Poetry Notes

Q. No. 01: – Shakespeare has divided man’s life into seven stages. which stage in your opinion is most accurately described?


Shakespeare compares this world to a stage. Men and women are like actors on the stage of life. After performing their roles, they leave this world. Shakespeare’s deep knowledge of human life and acute observation can be seen here. He has divided man’s life into seven stages. He says that everybody in this world has to perform seven roles.

In the first stage of his life, man appears as a child, he is helpless creature. He cries in the arms of his mother for several reasons. He cries and vomits.

In the second stage of his life, he appears as school boy. He goes to school unwillingly and slowly in the morning.

In third stage, he plays a part of a lover. He grows into a young man full of desires and dreams. He becomes a romantic young man. He is now all the time singing sad songs. He falls in love and sighs like a furnace. He cannot control his feelings and emotions.

In the forth part of his life, he becomes a soldier with big heavy beard. He is emotional and jealous. He quarrels with others for his honor and grace. He becomes crazy for temporary and bubble fame.

In fifth of his life, he becomes a judge. He becomes mature and experienced in his thoughts. He wishes to grab wealth by fool and fear means. He begins to accept bribe and thus adds much to his material comforts. He becomes ease loving and therefore, becomes fat. His eyes become stern look at his face. His eyes become sever and he grows beard of formal cut. He often quotes proverbs etc.

Then comes the sixth stage of his life, he becomes old now. He looks old man with loose clothes. He has pocket at the side of dress. He wears glasses because his eyesight is weak. His voice suffers a change and becomes thin. His shoes become wide for his feet.

Then comes the last stage and man plays the final role of his life. It is almost a second childhood. Man loses all senses now. He seems to forget everything. He loses his tasting power. He is ready to leave this world.

Shakespeare has described seven stages of man’s life. In each stage man imagines himself great and important. But there is something missing in all the stages. Shakespeare has described each stage of the man’s life with great economy of words. He uses living and concrete images to describe the different stages of life.