"All the world's a stage" is the phrase that begins a monologue from William Shakespeare's pastoral comedy As You Like It , spoken by the melancholy Jaques in Act II Scene VII Line 139. 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.
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 schoolboy, 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 honor, 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 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.
The comparison of the world to a stage and people to actors long predated Shakespeare. Richard Edwards' play Damon and Pythias , written in the year Shakespeare was born, contains the lines, "Pythagoras said that this world was like a stage / Whereon many play their parts; the lookers-on, the sage". Totus mundus agit histrionem (All the world plays the actor), the Latin text of which is derived from a 12th-century treatise. Ultimately the words derive from quod fere totus mundus exercet histrionem (because almost the whole world are actors) attributed to Petronius, a phrase which had wide circulation in England at the time.When it was founded in 1599 Shakespeare's own theatre, The Globe, may have used the motto
In his own earlier work, The Merchant of Venice , Shakespeare also had one of his main characters, Antonio, comparing the world to a stage:
I hold the world but as the world, Gratiano;
A stage where every man must play a part,
And mine a sad one.— Act I, Scene I
In his work The Praise of Folly , first printed in 1511, Renaissance humanist Erasmus asks, "For what else is the life of man but a kind of play in which men in various costumes perform until the director motions them off the stage."
Likewise the division of human life into a series of ages was a commonplace of art and literature, which Shakespeare would have expected his audiences to recognize. The number of ages varied: three and four being the most common among ancient writers such as Aristotle. The concept of seven ages derives from medieval philosophy, which constructed groups of seven, as in the seven deadly sins, for theological reasons. The seven ages model dates from the 12th century.King Henry V had a tapestry illustrating the seven ages of man.
According to T. W. Baldwin, Shakespeare's version of the concept of the ages of man is based primarily upon Pier Angelo Manzolli's book Zodiacus Vitae, a school text he might have studied at the Stratford Grammar School, which also enumerates stages of human life. He also takes elements from Ovid and other sources known to him.
The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, often shortened to Hamlet, is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare sometime between 1599 and 1601. It is Shakespeare's longest play, with 29,551 words. Set in Denmark, the play depicts Prince Hamlet and his revenge against his uncle, Claudius, who has murdered Hamlet's father in order to seize his throne and marry Hamlet's mother.
William Shakespeare was an English playwright, poet and actor. He is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's greatest dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon". His extant works, including collaborations, consist of some 39 plays, 154 sonnets, three long narrative poems, and a few other verses, some of uncertain authorship. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright. He remains arguably the most influential writer in the English language, and his works continue to be studied and reinterpreted.
English Renaissance theatre, also known as Renaissance English theatre and Elizabethan theatre, refers to the theatre of England between 1558 and 1642.
King Lear is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare. It is based on the mythological Leir of Britain. King Lear, in preparation for his old age, divides his power and land between two of his daughters. He becomes destitute and insane and a proscribed crux of political machinations. The first known performance of any version of Shakespeare's play was on St. Stephen's Day in 1606. The three extant publications from which modern editors derive their texts are the 1608 quarto (Q1) and the 1619 quarto and the 1623 First Folio. The quarto versions differ significantly from the folio version.
The Globe Theatre was a theatre in London associated with William Shakespeare. It was built in 1599 by Shakespeare's playing company, the Lord Chamberlain's Men, on land owned by Thomas Brend and inherited by his son, Nicholas Brend, and grandson, Sir Matthew Brend, and was destroyed by fire on 29 June 1613. A second Globe Theatre was built on the same site by June 1614 and closed by an Ordinance issued on 6 September 1642.
William Shakespeare (1564–1616) wrote sonnets on a variety of themes. When discussing or referring to Shakespeare's sonnets, it is almost always a reference to the 154 sonnets that were first published all together in a quarto in 1609. However, there are six additional sonnets that Shakespeare wrote and included in the plays Romeo and Juliet, Henry V and Love's Labour's Lost. There is also a partial sonnet found in the play Edward III.
Polonius is a character in William Shakespeare's play Hamlet. He is chief counsellor of the play's ultimate villain, Claudius, and the father of Laertes and Ophelia. Generally regarded as wrong in every judgment he makes over the course of the play, Polonius is described by William Hazlitt as a "sincere" father, but also "a busy-body, [who] is accordingly officious, garrulous, and impertinent". In Act II, Hamlet refers to Polonius as a "tedious old fool" and taunts him as a latter day "Jephtha".
Sir Thomas More is an Elizabethan play and a dramatic biography based on particular events in the life of the Catholic martyr Thomas More, who rose to become the Lord Chancellor of England during the reign of Henry VIII. The play is considered to be written by Anthony Munday and Henry Chettle and revised by several writers. The manuscript is particularly notable for a three-page handwritten revision now widely attributed to William Shakespeare.
In show business, the green room is the space in a theatre or similar venue that functions as a waiting room and lounge for performers before, during, and after a performance or show when they are not engaged on stage. Green rooms typically have seating for the performers, such as upholstered chairs and sofas.
"To be, or not to be" is the opening phrase of a soliloquy given by Prince Hamlet in the so-called "nunnery scene" of William Shakespeare's play Hamlet, Act 3, Scene 1. In the speech, Hamlet contemplates death and suicide, bemoaning the pain and unfairness of life but acknowledging that the alternative might be worse. The opening line is one of the most widely known and quoted lines in modern English literature, and the soliloquy has been referenced in many works of theatre, literature, and music.
Shakespeare's Globe is a reconstruction of the Globe Theatre, an Elizabethan playhouse for which William Shakespeare wrote his plays, in the London Borough of Southwark, on the south bank of the River Thames. The original theatre was built in 1599, destroyed by the fire in 1613, rebuilt in 1614, and then demolished in 1644. The modern Globe Theatre is an academic approximation based on available evidence of the 1599 and 1614 buildings. It is considered quite realistic, though modern safety requirements mean that it accommodates only 1,400 spectators compared to the original theatre's 3,000.
Shakespeare's plays are a canon of approximately 39 dramatic works written by English poet, playwright, and actor William Shakespeare. The exact number of plays—as well as their classifications as tragedy, history, comedy, or otherwise—is a matter of scholarly debate. Shakespeare's plays are widely regarded as being among the greatest in the English language and are continually performed around the world. The plays have been translated into every major living language.
William Shakespeare was an actor, playwright, poet, and theatre entrepreneur in London during the late Elizabethan and early Jacobean eras. He was baptised on 26 April 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire, England, in the Holy Trinity Church. At the age of 18 he married Anne Hathaway with whom he had three children. He died in his home town of Stratford on 23 April 1616, aged 52. Though more is known about Shakespeare's life than those of most other Elizabethan and Jacobean writers, few personal biographical facts survive, which is unsurprising in the light of his social status as a commoner, the low esteem in which his profession was held, and the general lack of interest of the time in the personal lives of writers. Information about his life derives from public rather than private documents: vital records, real estate and tax records, lawsuits, records of payments, and references to Shakespeare and his works in printed and hand-written texts. Nevertheless, hundreds of biographies have been written and more continue to be, most of which rely on inferences and the historical context of the 70 or so hard facts recorded about Shakespeare the man, a technique that sometimes leads to embellishment or unwarranted interpretation of the documented record.
Thousands of performances of William Shakespeare's plays have been staged since the end of the 16th century. While Shakespeare was alive, many of his greatest plays were performed by the Lord Chamberlain's Men and King's Men acting companies at the Globe and Blackfriars Theatres. Among the actors of these original performances were Richard Burbage, Richard Cowley, and William Kempe.
"All that glitters is not gold" is an aphorism stating that not everything that looks precious or true turns out to be so.
As You Like It is a pastoral comedy by William Shakespeare believed to have been written in 1599 and first published in the First Folio in 1623. The play's first performance is uncertain, though a performance at Wilton House in 1603 has been suggested as a possibility.
The Tempest is a play by English playwright William Shakespeare, probably written in 1610–1611, and thought to be one of the last plays that Shakespeare wrote alone. After the first scene, which takes place on a ship at sea during a tempest, the rest of the story is set on a remote island, where the sorcerer Prospero, a complex and contradictory character, lives with his daughter Miranda, and his two servants: Caliban, a savage monster figure, and Ariel, an airy spirit. The play contains music and songs that evoke the spirit of enchantment on the island. It explores many themes, including magic, betrayal, revenge, and family. In Act IV, a wedding masque serves as a play-within-a-play, and contributes spectacle, allegory, and elevated language.
Shakespeare Hirst was an English actor, author, art collector and expert on the life and works of William Shakespeare.
Jaques is one of the main characters in Shakespeare's As You Like It. "The melancholy Jaques", as he is known, is one of the exiled Duke Senior's noblemen who live with him in the Forest of Arden. Jaques takes no part in the unfolding of the plot and confines himself to wry comment on the action and exchanges with his fellow characters. He has one of Shakespeare's best-known speeches, "All the world's a stage".
The Seven Ages of Man is a series of paintings by Robert Smirke, derived from the famous monologue beginning all the world's a stage from William Shakespeare's As You Like It, spoken by the melancholy Jaques in Act II Scene VII. The stages referred are: infant, schoolboy, lover, soldier, justice, pantaloon and old age.