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William Shakespeare [1564-1616] was born in Stratford-upon Avon. He is considered by many to be the greatest dramatist of all time. He wrote 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems and about three dozen plays. Shakespeare used poetic and dramatic means to create unified aesthetic effects. In verse he perfected the dramatic blank verse.

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Shakespeare was born and raised in Stratford-upon-Avon . At the age of 18, he married Anne Hathaway , with whom he had three children: Susanna , and twins Hamnet and Judith . Between 1585 and 1592, he began a successful career in London as an actor, writer, and part owner of a playing company called the Lord Chamberlain's Men , later known as the King's Men .

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POEM - 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 honour, sudden and quick in quarrel, Seeking the bubble reputation.

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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.


SUMMARY The seven ages of man’ is taken from William Shakespeare’s famous play, ‘As You Like It’ [ ACT- II, SCENE- VII], describes the seven phases in a man’s life from childhood to old age. The world is a global stage and all men and women presented here are mere puppets in the hands of destiny. Just like the infrastructures of a stage, the world has its own entrances and exits. Every man in his full lifetime has many parts to play. His total number of acts in his lifetime is the seven ages.

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The first and foremost act of every human being is the stage of infancy, where he makes his presence felt by crying at the top of voices and many a times vomiting any food or drink that is repulsive at the nursing arms of his mother. This period normally last till four years of age.

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The second stage is the ‘whining’ school boy where he learns to utter a plaintive, high- pitched, protracted sound, as in pain, fear, supplication, or complaint. His shiny morning face and his satchel; a small bag, sometimes with a shoulder strap; he creeps like a snail and not willing to go to school.

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The third stage is his early youth, the peak of love and high romance. He sighs like a burning furnace and sings the sad ballads of romance; full of woe; affected with, characterized by, or indicating woe: woeful melodies; to impress his lover’s heart. The impression of her reply can be seen in her eyebrows.

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The fourth stage is that of a soldier where life is full of obligations, commitments, compliances, oaths and vows. His beard is like a leopard or panther. He endlessly fights for his honor, a full presence of mind which is sudden and quick in quarrel and a heart to maintain a dignified reputation.

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The fifth stage is the adult- hood where a man tries to live a fair and justified life. His belly becomes bigger than normal. He is conscious about his dies and consumes a good intake of ‘capon’ ; a cockerel castrated to improve the flesh for use as food. His eyes are severe with seriousness and his beard is leveled to a formal cut. He is to take a lot of correct decisions to keep up with the ever changing times. So this stage is the most powerful stage in life.

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The sixth stage is the middle age. Here is where he prepares for the next level in life i.e. old age. He learns to relax from the hustles of life. His strength begins to weaken and spends more time within the roof of his house. He looks like a buffoon and an old fool in his rugged old slippers. He hangs his spectacles on his nose for reading and all his youthful hose, ; a flexible tube for conveying, a liquid, as water, to a desired point; saved for the world too wide. His shank begins to shrink with time; the part of the lower limb in humans between the knee and the ankle; leg. Even his voice begins to descend to a lower tone. In his free time, he smokes his pipe and whistles his matured melodies.

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The seventh stage, even the last stage, that is the old- age where he enters his second childhood. It is also the beginning of the end of his eventful history. It is also the stage of oblivion; the state of forgetting or of being oblivious ; official disregard or overlooking of offenses; he is without everything; without teeth, eyes and taste.



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