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Essay on Aging In the Reanissance and As You Like It

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Aging In the Reanissance and As You Like It

 
    Life starts upon the exit from the mother's womb. From that moment, time marches on until the inevitable death occurs to take one once again from the world of the living. Life and death fascinated various playwrights and authors of the Renaissance. Shakespeare made his interest in aging known in many of his plays and sonnets. He approaches this continuing theme from many angles. In many of his sonnets he talks about aging and how the image changes as one ages and gets older and less attractive. The most interesting of Shakespeare's plays involving a theme of aging is As You Like It. This is one of Shakespeare's latter comedies and asks the viewer to choose which romance he or she would like. The characters themselves can be placed into one of seven ages. These stages have changed in their significance over time (Mabillard).

 

In As You Like It, Jacques recites the famous quote "All the world's a stage. And all the men and women merely players." What most people do not know is the following lines

 

"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 good capon lined, With eyes severe and beard of formal cut, Full of wise...


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...s audience. Therefore Shakespearian plays were based on Renaissance views and may be used to further understand Renaissance culture.

 

Works Cited

Best, Michel. The age of marriage. 1998. http://web.uvic.ca/shakespeare/Library/SLTnoframes/society/marriage.html (15/10/2002)

 

Chamberlin, E. R. Everyday Life in Renaissance Times. London: B. T. Batsford, G. P. Putnam, 1965.

 

Ergang, Robert. The Renaissance. Canada: D, Van Nostrand Company, 1967

 

Mabillard, Amanda. Shakespeare of Stratford. Shakespeare Online. 2000. http://www.shakespeare-online.com (15/10/2002).

Shakespeare, William. As You Like It. The Norton Shakespeare. Ed. Stephen Greenblatt. New York: W.W. Norton Company, 1997. 1600-1656.

Smith, Lacey Baldwin. The Horizon Book of the Elizabethan World. Ed Norman Kotker. New York: American Heritage Publishing Co., 1967.


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