All the world's a stage
By: William Shakespeare (Justin Reid, 4th period, 3-10-15)
Shakespeare is iterating to the reader that although you may feel special now, in the grand scheme of things, you are only one out of billions to walk this planet. How ever many twists and turns you feel your life has endured, it follows the same basic (seven step) pattern: infant, school-boy, lover, soldier, modern man, middle-aged man, old man. All people, if fortunate to live that long, will experience this cycle, the cycle of life. Shakespeare puts it best when he says, "They have their exits and their entrances" (Shakespeare 2), because he relates the on goings and off goings of a play to real life. In reality, the world is your entire life, while you are only the tiniest fraction of the world's life.
This poem is definitely a narrative poem, telling the story of life. Although Shakespeare wrote the poem, the speaker is definitely a fictional "persona". Many events take place in a person's lifetime, but Shakespeare broke it up into seven basic stages. The first stage is the infant stage, messy and totally dependent on someone else. The second stage is the annoying school-boy stage, a kid who only thinks about himself.The third stage is the lover stage, most likely directed at confused teenagers. The fourth stage is the soldier stage, referring to those who are fighting to get a hold of their life and find a living. The fifth stage is talking about the businessman, trying to build his reputation and share his experiences. The next stage is talking about those who grow old, wishing to be a kid again. The final stage refers to the elderly who have seen everything, are oblivious, and are physically deteriorated, without teeth and taste (Shakespeare 28). These people, like infants, are again helpless. The speaker seems comfortable when talking about life, but serious when mentioning the briefness it holds. One central idea that stuck with me throughout the poem was to enjoy life today, because you are never promised tomorrow.