Sunday, December 16, 2012

Class XII, ENGLISH, Poems, "The Seven Ages of Man"

Reference The lines given for explanation have been extracted from the poem Seven Ages of Man, composed by William Shakespeare. Seven Ages of Man is a speech chosen from one of William’s Shakespeare’s comedies As You Like It.
About the poet
William Shakespeare was an English dramatist and poet, considered to be the greatest of all writers. Shakespeare was not only a writer and poet, but also an actor who devoted his life to the theatre.
About the Poem
This poem is one of the best known passages from Shakespeare’s work. This speech is delivered by Amiens in act III, scene VIII of the play As You Like It. Amiens is one of the group of noblemen leading a life of exile with Dukes in the forest of Arden.
And all the men and women merely players ———– His act being seven ages. At first the infant.
In the opinion of the poet man’s life on earth is like a big drama, in which men and women play their parts before their death. Man has to play many parts before their death Man has to play many parts and his life has been divided into seven parts.
This world is just like a stage of a theatre. All persons being players are given different roles. Every individual plays a definite role during his life, which normally consists of seven parts or acts.
In order to make his meaning clear, he makes a comparison of life with the stage. The first stage of a man is being an infant i.e. when he enters in this world and makes his exist in this stage of world as a baby.
Mewling and puking in the nurse’arms ——— Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Shakespeare says that each human being performs seven parts in this small drama on the stage of the world. He makes his entry as a baby who is fully dependent upon others. This stage ends when the infant grows into a school child.
Shakespeare describes him as a boy having a face fresh like morning, with his bag hanging on his side, walking appropriately to school. In the beginning he does not like going to school but gradually his thinking changes. When time passes onwards the schoolboy transformed into a youngster. He is not an adult yet and due to lack of maturity, he indulges in infatuations.
Made to his mistress’ eyebrow; then a soldier ———- Even in the cannon’s mouth; and then, the justice,
As a lover the man composes poems about the eyebrows of his lover, and then came the fourth stage of his life, in which man makes his appearance on this World’s stage as a soldier. He utters wrong oath and develops a beard like that of a leopard. He becomes mad after vain and transitory fame. He becomes wild and haughty and readily picks up quarrels with anybody. He becomes a young soldier ready to fight and defend his country. He fights with a spirit of competition.
He is ready to sacrifice his life for his country. Being a young man, he looses temper very quickly. He is even ready to face the canons he is a brave soldier. So he is seeking bubble reputation. In the next role of his life the man becomes an agent of doing justice.

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