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12th English – Lesson 3 – Poem – All the World’s a Stage

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12th English – Lesson 3 – Poem – All the
World’s a Stage

Warm Up

This is Life Cycle of butterfly.

This2Bis2BLife2BCycle2Bof2Bbutterfly Tamil Mixer Education

1. Discuss
with your partner the different stages in the grow th of man from a new born to
an adult.

Answer:

An infant pukes on
the mother’s arms. As he is unable to articulate his needs, he keeps on crying
like a kitten. Then he goes to school giving up his freedom. He is made to
learn things he doesn’t want to learn. Then he becomes an adult hopelessly in
love. He wastes his purple youth writing love letters or songs admiring the
beauty of his love. Some join army or police force to serve the nation. At the
peak of adulthood, they are quite touchy about honour and believe it to be more
important than life itself.

 

1.
Fill in the blanks using the words given in the box to complete the summary of
the poem.

 

attention, treble, reluctantly,
actors, maturity, reputation, serious, faculties, composing, enter, promises, dependent

Shakespeare
considers the whole world a stage where men and women are only (1) _____ They
(2) _____ the stage when they are borm and exit when they die. Every man,
during his life time; plays seven roles based on age. In the first act, as an
infant, he is wholly (3) _____ on the mother or a nurse. Later, emerging as a
school child, he slings his bag over his shoulder and creeps most (4) _____ to
school. His next act is that of a lover, busy (5) _____ ballads for his beloved
and yearns for her (6) _____ In the fourth stage, he is aggressive and
ambitious and seeks (7) _____ in all that he does. He (8) _____ solemnly to
guard his country and becomes a soldier. As he grows older, with (9) _____ and
wisdom, he becomes a fair judge. During this stage, he is firm and (10) _____
In the sixth act, he is seen with loose pantaloons and spectacles. His manly
voice changes into a childish (11) _____ The last scene of all is his second
childhood. Slowly, he loses his (12) _____ of sight, hearing, smell and taste
and exits from the roles of his life.

Answer:

actors

enter

dependent

reluctantly

composing

attention

reputation

promises

maturity

serious

treble

faculties

 

2. From your understanding of the poem, answer the following
questions briefly in a sentence or two.

(a) What
is the world compared to?

Answer:
The world is compared to a stage.

 

(b) “And
they have their exits and their entrances” – What do the words ‘exits’ and
‘entrances’ mean?

Answer:
‘Entrances’ means life. ‘Exits means death.

 

(c) What
is the first stage of a human’s life?

Answer:
The first stage of human life is “infant”. The babe on nurse’s arms pukes and
mewls.

 

(d)Describe
the second stage of life as depicted by Shakespeare.

Answer:
The second stage is school boy. The boy goes to school with a heavy heart like
a snail.

 

(e)How
does a man play a lover’s role?

Answer:
As a lover, man sings serenades seeking the attention of his lady love.

 

(f) Bring
out the features of the fourth stage of a man as described by the poet.

Answer:
In the fourth stage, man becomes aggressive and ambitious and seeks glory in
all his pursuits. He is ready to enter the mouth of cannon for a moment of
glory.

 

(g) When
does a man become a judge? How?

Answer:
In the fifth stage, man grows mature and wise. He becomes an impartial judge.
He is firm and serious about his opinions.

 

(h) Which
stage of man’s life is associated with the ‘shrunk shank’?

Answer:
In the sixth stage, man becomes thin and weak. His fashionable dresses of
youthful days have now become too lose to use for his shrunk shank (i.e.) legs
that have become very lean with age.

 

(i)Why
is the last stage called second childhood?

Answer:
The last stage is called the second childhood. The old man slowly loses all his
senses. He requirs the support of a nurse or wife to do anything. In this
stage, he departs from the world.

 

3. Explain the following lines briefly with reference to the
context. (a)

“They have their exits and their entrances;

And one man in his time plays many parts”

Answer:

Reference: These lines are
from the poem ‘All the world’s a stage’ written by William Shakespeare.

Context and Explanation: The poet says this
while hinting at the beginning and the end of life. The poet divides man’s life
into seven stages. The first stage symbolises birth and the last stage death.
So, he uses the words “entrances and exits”.

 

(b) ‘‘Jealous in honour, sudden and quick
in quarrel,

Seeking the bubble reputation”.

Answer:

Reference: These lines are
from the poem ‘All the world’s a stage’ written by William Shakespeare.

Context and Explanation: The poet says
these words while describing the fourth stage when the young man becomes a
soldier and runs after short-lived glory. He has inflated sense of honour and
ready to insist on duels to settle matters touching his honour. He does not
realise that the reputation he seeks is short-lived like a bubble.

 

(c) “Is second childishness and mere
oblivion;

Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans
everything.”

Answer:

Reference: These lines are
from the poem ‘All the world’s a stage’ written by William Shakespeare.

Context and Explanation: The poet says this
while man gets ready to leave this world (i.e.) the last stage of his life on
this lonely planet. In this stage, man becomes totally forgetful. He loses his
teeth, eyesight and taste. He loses all his senses of perception. Like a baby,
he can’t do anything on his own. So, the poet calls this stage “second
childhood” when the old man behaves in a childish manner.

 

Appreciate The Poem

 

4.
Read the poem once again carefully and identify the figure of speech that has
been used in each of the following lines from the poem.

 

“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 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 lin’d,

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 slipper’d pantaloon,

With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;

His youthful hose, well sav’d, 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.”

 

(a) “All
the world’s a stage”

Answer:
Metaphor

 

(b) “And
all the men and women merely players”

Answer:
Metaphor

 

(c) “And
shining morning face, creeping like snail’

Answer:
Simile

 

(d) “Full
of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,”

Answer:
Simile

 

(e) “Seeking
the bubble reputation”

Answer:
Metaphor

 

(f) “Hisyouthful
hose, well sav’d, a world too wide”

Answer:
Alliteration

 

(g) “and
his big manly voice, turning again toward childish treble”

Answer:

Metaphor

 

5.Pick out the words in ‘alliteration’ in the following lines,

(a)“and
all the men and women merely players”

Answer:
and all the men and women merely players

 

(b)“And
one man in his time plays many parts”

Answer:
And one man in his time plays many parts

 

(c) “Jealous
in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel ”

Answer:
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel.

 

6. Read the given lines and answer the questions that follow.

(a) “Then the whining school-boy, with his
satchel

And shining morning face, creeping like
snail

Unwillingly to school ”

 

(i)Which
stage of life is being referred to here by the poet?

Answer:
Boyhood is referred to here.

 

(ii) What
are the characteristics of this stage?

Answer:
Innocence, joy and care-free life are the characteristics of this stage in
life.

 

(iii)
How does the boy go to school?

Answer:
The boy goes to school unwillingly. He is slow like a snail.

 

(iv) Which
figure of speech has been employed in the second line?

Answer:
Simile is employed in the second line.

 

(b) “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.

 

(i) What
is the soldier ready to do?

Answer:
The soldier is ready to lay down his life.

 

(ii) Explain
‘bubble reputation’.

Answer:
Reputation is a transitory thing. It doesn’t even last a minute like the life
of a bubble.

 

(iii)
What are the distinguishing features of this stage?

Answer:
In this stage, the youthful soldier attaches great value to honour. He is quick
to temper and challenges people for fight for the sake of honour. He often
swears to assert his valour.

 

(c) “And then the justice,

In fair round belly with good capon lin’d,

With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,

Full of wise saws and modern instances;’’’’

 

(i)Whom
does justice refer to?

Answer:
Justice refers to man in his fifth stage when he becomes critical of everyone
else’s opinion in life.

 

(ii) Describe
his appearance.

Answer:
He has a pot belly and is fond of eating delicacies.

 

(iii)How
does he behave with the people around him?

Answer:
His eyes are severe. He often gives advice to people.

 

(iv)What
does he do to show his wisdom?

Answer:
To show of his wisdom, he often quotes modem examples and words of wisdom.

 

7. Complete the table based on your understanding of the poem.

Answer:

Stage –
Characteristic

Baby (first stage)
– crying

judge – Firm and
serious

soldier –
Aggressive and Ambitious

Lover – unhappy

second childhood –
Loses senses

Boyhood (school) –
whining

old man – Wise and
judges others

 

8. Based on your understanding of the poem, answer the following
questions in about 100 – 150 words each. You may add your own ideas if
required, to present and justify your point of view.

(а) Describe
the various stages of a man’s life picturised in the poem “All the World’s a
stage.”

Answer:

Shakespeare has
beautifully portrayed this world as a huge open theatre where in all humans
play seven acts/ages. In the first act, he is a helpless infant puking on the nurse’s
arms mewling like a kitten. In the second stage, he is the grumbling/whining
school student. He moves to school like a snal/unwllingly with his slate and
bag. In the third Act, he is a lover sighing and yearning for the attention of
his lady love.

He composes
romantic ballads complaining his love that he needs a better deal. In the
fourth Act, he becomes a quick-tempered soldier, aggressive and ambitious,
ready to stake his life for the sake of bubble reputation. As he matures, he
becomes a wise judge of contemporary life quoting wise maxims to endorse his
opinion. He is firm and serious. In the sixth act, his stout legs become thin
making his trousers of youth unsuitable. Thin and lean legs easily travel
through them but are unable to stay due to a slimmed waist. His bass voice has
become treble like that of a child. In the last act, he is sans teeth, sanys
eyes, sans taste and sans everything (i.e.) loses all senses. He departs the
world.

 

(b) Shakespeare
has skill fully brought out the parallels between the life of man and actors on
stage. Elaborate this statement with reference to the poem.

Answer:

Shakespeare has
beautifully compared the growth of humans by stages with his emergent role
during that stage. In the first stage man plays the role of an infant. As an
infant, he does represent characterisation of mewling and puking. In the second
Act, he does the role of a school boy with the characteristics of unwillingness
to go to schools and innocence shining in his face. In the third Act, he performs
the role of a lover head over heels in love with a beautiful lady. He composes
woeful romantic ballads and sings serenades to impress his love. In the fourth
act, he plays the impressive role of a short-tempered, honour pursuing soldier.

He is ready to put
his mouth in the Cannon’s mouth for conquering the bubble like honour in order
to defend the territory of his country. In the fifth Act, he performs the role
of a mature and fair judge criticising the ways of the world often spicing up
his conversations with wise remarks and wit. His pot belly and well-cut beard
shows the social status he enjoys in life. In the sixth act, he is old. He
performs the role of a thin old man wearing ill-fitting loose garments with a
changed treble in his voice. He is bespectacled and slow in walking. In the
final act, he becomes a total invalid losing all senses of hearing, taste and
sight. Then the performer leaves the stage (i.e.) the lonely planet.

 

Speaking
Activity

Shakespeare
describes the characteristics of the various stages of man. You are in the
second stage of life. What do you think of your roles and responsibilities at
this stage? Discuss with your partner and share your ideas with the class.

Answer:

At school age,
imagination takes wings. Inquisitiveness is common among my peers. Parents,
society and teachers want us only to study. But we need to explore the world
around us. At home, it is our responsibility to keep our things in order. We
need to assist the perennial worker, we mean, our moms in completing their
domestic chores. Occasionally, we shall take care of siblings too not as a work
but as a duty towards a family member who will be a life long companion to us.

 

Listening
Activity

Listen to the poem
and fill in the blanks with appropriate words and phrases. If required listen
to the poem again.

The World Is Too Much with Us

The world is too much with us; late and
soon, Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers; Little we see in Nature
that is ours;We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon! This Sea that bares
her bosom to the moon, The winds that will be howling at all hours,And are up-
gathered now like sleeping flowers,

For this, for everything, we are out of
tune; It moves us not. – Great God! I’d rather be A Pagan suckled in a creed
outworn; So might I, standing on this pleasant lea, Have glimpses that would
make me less forlorn; Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea; Or hear old
Triton blow his wreathed horn.

The
World Is Too Much with Us:

The world is too much with us; late and
soon

Getting and spending, we lay waste our
powers

Little we see in (1) ______ that is ours;

We have given (2) ______ away, a sordid
boon!

This Sea that bares her bosom (3) ______

(4) ______ that will be howling at all
hours,

And are up-gathered now like (5) ______

,For this, for everything, we are (6)
______ ;

It (7) ______ . us not. Great God! I’d
rather be

A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;

So might I, standing on this pleasant lea

Have glimpses that would make me less
forlorn;

Have sight of Proteus rising (8) ______

Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.

Answer:

Nature

our hearts

to the moon

The winds

sleeping flowers

out of tune

moves

from the sea

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