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ALL THE WORLD’S A STAGE

BY WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
ALL THE WORLD’S A STAGE
• Who is William Shakespeare?
• Background of ‘All the World’s a Stage’
• Poem analysis
– What is the poem about? A brief summary
– Analysis of the poem
– Language points: sound devices, imagery, figurative
language, denotation vs. connotation
• Relate
– Relating the poem to other materials and current
situations.
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
• William Shakespeare was an English poet,
playwright and actor, 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“.
• His exact birthday was not known but he was
baptized in the Holy Trinity church on 26th
April 1564 and died on April 23rd 1616.
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
• Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway when he
was 18 and she was 26. The fact that she was
pregnant at the time gave the impression that it
was a shot-gun marriage.
• The couple had 3 children together; Susanna,
Hamnet (died at age 11) and Judith.
• Shakespeare was well known for his sonnets
and plays including “Hamlet”, “A Midsummer
Night’s Dream” and “The Taming of the Shrew”
BACKGROUND OF THE POEM
• All the World is Stage is the poem taken from
William Shakespeare’s play entitled “As You like
It”.
• The character who says these words is known as
Jacques, the melancholic man who wants to
compare the world to a stage and life to a play
• Jacques catalogues the seven stages of a man's life,
sometimes referred to as the seven ages of man:
infant, schoolboy, lover, soldier, justice, old man,
and second childhood.
BACKGROUND OF THE POEM
• As You like It is considered by many to be one of Shakespeare's greatest
comedies.
• The heroine, Rosalind, is one of his most inspiring characters and has more
lines than any other female characters.
• Rosalind, the daughter of a banished duke falls in love with Orlando the
disinherited son of one of the duke's friends.
• When she is banished from the court by her uncle, Duke Frederick, Rosalind
switches genders and as Ganymede travels with her loyal cousin Celia and the
jester Touchstone to the Forest of Arden, where her father and his friends live
in exile.
• Observations on life and love follow (including love, aging, the natural world,
and death) friends are made, and families are reunited.
• By the play's end Ganymede, once again Rosalind marries her Orlando. Two
other sets of lovers are also wed, one of them Celia and Orlando's mean older
brother Oliver,
SUMMARY OF THE POEM
• This poem states the Seven Ages of Man-
• 1. infant, 2. schoolboy, 3. lover, 4. soldier, 5.
justice, 6. old man, 7. second childhood.
ANALYSIS OF THE POEM
LINES MEANING

All the world's a stage, The poet makes a comparison between life
And all the men and women merely and the stage- how everyone are actors in
players. their own plays and that each man has
They have their exits and their seven parts.
entrances,
And one man in his time plays many
parts,
His acts being seven ages.
At first the infant, The first role/age is that of an infant. He
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms. cries and whines and vomits in the hands
of his nurse

Then, the whining school-boy with his In the second stage of life, man plays the
satchel role of a little child. He carries a small
And shining morning face, creeping like schoolbag with him and has a shiny face,
snail walking as slowly as possible because of his
Unwillingly to school. dislike of school.
ANALYSIS OF THE POEM
LINES MEANING

And then the lover, In the third stage of life, man plays the role
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad of a lover. He falls in love passionately and
Made to his mistress' eyebrow. sings a sad songs about love, praising the
beauty of his lover’s face.
Then, a soldier, In the fourth stage of life, man plays the role
Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the of a soldier. He is full of promises, bearded,
pard, and strives for honour, recognition and
Jealous in honour, sudden, and quick in reputation, even when faced with death.
quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon's mouth.
And then, the justice, In the fifth stage of life, man plays the role of
In fair round belly, with a good capon lined, a justice/judge. He is well fed and has a fat
With eyes severe, and beard of formal cut, belly. He is full of wise sayings. He uses his
Full of wise saws, and modern instances, experience, wisdom and knowledge in the
And so he plays his part. dispensation of justice.
ANALYSIS OF THE POEM
LINES MEANING

The sixth age shifts In the sixth stage of life, man becomes weak
Into the lean and slippered pantaloon, and fragile. His legs have shrunk and his voice
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side, is beginning to weaken.
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, Man’s last stage is that of extreme old age.
That ends this strange eventful history, This stage is compared to second childhood.
Is second childishness and mere oblivion, He loses control over his senses and becomes
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans dependent on others just like a child. He is
everything. enveloped by forgetfulness and loses his
teeth, eyesight, hearing, etc. and then, he
passes away.
LANGUAGE POINTS
• The poem itself is actually a monologue done by
the character Jacques in the play “As You Like
It”.
• It consists of 28 lines.
• The poem being written in the 1600s uses a lot
of Old English language and some words may be
difficult for you to understand.
• *vocabulary: search for difficult words in the
poem and find its meanings.
LANGUAGE POINTS
DEVICE MEANING USE

MONOLOGUE a long speech given by a character in The whole poem in a


a story, movie, play, etc., or by a monologue by the character
performer Jacques
CAESURA the pausing or stopping within a “And then the whining school-
line of poetry caused by needed boy, with his satchel
punctuation to strengthen meaning And shining morning face,
of line. creeping like snail”
IMAGERY Imagery involves one or more of “With spectacles on nose and
your five senses (hearing, taste, pouch on side”
touch, smell, sight).
OXYMORON the use of contradictory terms “And all the men and women
(together) for effect. merely players;
They have their exits and their
entrances”
SIMILE the comparison of two unlike things “Sighing like furnace, with a
by saying one is like or as the other woeful ballad”
RELATING TO THE POEM
• Reflect on your own life. Which part are you
playing right now? How well are you playing it?
• Think of reality TV shows. Considering that life
is a stage, how real do you think those shows
really are?

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