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ALL THE WORLD'S A STAGE by William Shakespeare - FULL Monologue | GreatestAudioBooks.com

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ALL THE WORLD'S A STAGE by William Shakespeare - FULL Monologue | GreatestAudioBooks.com - "All the world's a stage" is the phrase that begins a monologue from William Shakespeare's As You Like It, spoken by the melancholy Jaques in Act II Scene VII. The speech compares the world to a stage and life to a play, and catalogues the seven stages of a man's life, sometimes referred to as the seven ages of man: infant, schoolboy, lover, soldier, justice, Pantalone and old age, facing imminent death. It is one of Shakespeare's most frequently quoted passages.

The man in the poem goes through these stages all expressed in a sardonic when not bitter tone:

Infancy: In this stage he is a helpless baby and knows little.
Whining schoolboy: It is in that stage of life that he begins to go to school. He is unwilling to leave the protected environment of his home as he is still not confident enough to exercise his own discretion.
The lover: In this stage he is always sentimental, expressing his love in a silly and pointless manner. He makes himself ridiculous in trying to express his feelings.
The soldier: He is very easily aroused and is hot-headed. He is always working towards making a reputation for himself, however short-lived it may be, even at the cost of foolish risks.
The justice: In this stage he thinks he has acquired wisdom through the many experiences he has had in life, and is likely to impart it. He has reached a stage where he has gained prosperity and social status. He becomes vain and begins to enjoy the finer things of life.
Old Age: He is a shell of his former self — physically and mentally. He begins to become the butt of others' jokes. He loses his firmness and assertiveness, and shrinks in stature and personality.
Incapacity: Dependent on others for care and unable to interact with the world, he experiences "second innocence, and mere oblivion." (Summary adapted from Wikipedia. org - Attribution: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=All_the_world%27s_a_stage&action=history)

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Full Text:

"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 school-boy 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
Even in the cannon's mouth. And then, the justice,
In fair round belly, with a 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."



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