All the World’s a Stage Poem Summary

All the World’s a Stage Summary



The great dramatist of all ages, Shakespeare presents a unique treatment of human life in his play “As You Like It”. This masterpiece of keen observation, All The World‟s a Stage is in fact a speech delivered by one of the characters of the above mentioned play.


In this poem the poet compares the entire world to a stage, where all the men and women play their particular part. During the course of drama of life the character appear and disappear on the stage to perform their role. There are seven stages of this drama. Birth is entrance and death is exit.


The first period begins and helpless infant in the nurse‟s arms vomits feebly. In the second stage a complaining school boy appears on the stage. He goes to school unwillingly like a snail. Then a teenager enters the stage sighing like a furnace and singing songs for his beloved. After this, man acts as a soldier ready to fight suddenly, seeking prompt fame even in the cannon’s mouth to make his mark in the history.


In the fifth period a judge, with formal beard, fairly round belly and severe eyes appears on the stage of the world. He knows many proverbs and can quote a lot of modern instances.


In the sixth stage he becomes an old man, lean and weak. There are whistles in his voice and he wears glasses on his nose. He keeps a small bag with him and the world is so vast for his weak body.


In the last, (seventh stage) he is on the verge of end (death). He has lost every quality of his youth and has become a helpless child again thus ends this eventful history(life).


These different stages hint at the fact that nothing is permanent in this life as life is transient. Interpretation of human life is understandable to some extent but is not agreeable fully.


Subtle and sublime rhyme scheme, blank verse, realistic comparison straightforward treatment, fresh imagery, theatrical vocabulary and run-on-lines here and there are its special technical features.

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