Q:

What is meant by the seven ages of man?

A:

Quick Answer

The seven ages of man are the seven developmental stages of a person's life, as outlined by William Shakespeare in "As You Like It." Specifically, in Act II, Scene 7, the character of Jacque describes the world as a stage and "all the men and women merely players," before going on to say that each man plays seven parts in his time.

Know More

Full Answer

These seven parts, acts or ages are defined in the play as follows:

  1. The infant, "mewling and puking in the nurse's arms"
  2. The whining school-boy, "with his satchel and shining morning face, creeping like a snail unwillingly to school"
  3. The lover, "sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad made to his mistress' eyebrow"
  4. The soldier, "full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard" ("pard" meaning leopard)
  5. The justice, "in fair round belly with good capon lin'd, with eyes severe and beard of formal cut" ('with good capon lin'd' meaning well-fed or stuffed on fattened chicken)
  6. The lean and slipper'd pantaloon (or foolish old man), "with spectacles on nose and pouch on side ... his big manly voice, turning again toward childish treble"
  7. Second childishness and mere oblivion (senility and death), "sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything"

Shakespeare's rubric closely follows that of several premodern European thinkers, including Isidore of Seville, who categorized the stages of life by age ranges, from birth to around 70 and death.

Learn more about Classics

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are some examples of blank verse in "Romeo and Juliet"?

    A:

    An example of blank verse in William Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" is: "And, when he shall die, / Take him and cut him out in little stars, / And he will make the face of heaven so fine / That all the world will be in love with night / And pay no worship to the garish sun." Another example of blank verse is: "How art thou out of breath, when thou hast breath / To say to me that thou are out of breath? / The excuse that thou dost make in this delay / Is longer than the tale thou dost excuse."

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    At what age does a man reach his physical peak?

    A:

    The ages when men hit their physical peak vary, but according to Ask Men, a man hits his peak muscle mass in his 30s. When it comes to peak alertness and metabolism, the age of 25 seems to be the point when men start to slow down.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What gift did Mary give Elizabeth?

    A:

    In Act II: Scene 2 of Arthur Miller's "The Crucible," Elizabeth Proctor is given a poppet from her house servant Mary Warren. A poppet is a small doll sometimes associated with practitioners of magic used to attempt to inflict harm or bring healing to a targeted individual.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the way to describe Calpurnia's dream in "Julius Caesar"?

    A:

    In Act II, scene II of William Shakespeare's play "Julius Caesar," Calpurnia dreams that a Caesar statue was bleeding and that while smiling, Romans went to the statue and soaked their hands in the blood. She sees this as a sign that Caesar should not leave the house because there is danger facing him if he does.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore