The Seven Ages of Human Beings Described by Jaques

Also Read

What are the seven ages of human beings described by Jaques in “All the world’s a stage” passage?

      Ans. Jaques says that the world is a stage and human beings are merely players. They come on the stage of the world, and when their role is completed, they depart. While the world is a stage, the life is the drama. Even human being has to play seven roles, which are like the seven stages of his life, and the seven acts of the drama.

      In the first stage he acts as a child, crying and slobbering in the amis of the mother. In the second stage he whines while, creeping slowly, with a bag of books, like a snail, to school. In the third stage he is a young lover who heaves sighs like furnace, and writes lyrics, like Orlando, on the beauty of his beloved mistress. In the fourth stage he, becomes a soldier, and, like Bobbadil, swears big, mouthful oaths, boasts, swaggers, wear mustaches, and always picks up quarrels for his honor which is not more lasting than the bubbles. Then in the fifth stage, he becomes a judge with his sound belly and precisely cut beard. He is full of commonplace maxims and platitudes. In the sixth stage, he grows a grotesque-looking figure, bespectacled, pale and then, wearing loose dresses on his thin legs, and speaking in a shrill voice. In the seventh stage he totters, like king lear, on the verge of old age, becomes almost a scarecrow as described by W.B. Yeats in “Sailing to Byzantium”, he looks like a wasted away ghost. This is his last role, after playing this last role he is seen no more, heard no more.

      Jaques describes only the negative aspects of life. Therefore this utterance of the “All the world’s a stage” passage is full of cynicism.

Previous Post Next Post