What Are The Seven Stages Of Man? Meaning Of Every Stage

What Are The Seven Stages Of Man? Meaning Of Every Stage

SEVEN STAGES OF MAN – In this topic, we are going to know and identify the seven stages of man and the definition of each.

Image from: Careful With That Axe, Eugene

The seven stages was mentioned by William Shakespeare in a monologue entitled All The World’s A Stage.

As mentioned previously, it is a monologue from As You Like It, a pastoral comedy by William Shakespeare. The title is a beginning phrase of the poem.

This was spoken by one of the main characters of the comedy known as the melancholy Jacques in Act II Scene VII.

You can check the full text of the poem here.

A man, according to the monologue, faces seven stages. Here are the following:

  1. Infancy (Infant)
    • “At first the infant, Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms;”, says the monologue.
    • This is the first stage where he is just a helpless baby who is simply crying and throwing up.
  2. Schoolboy (Schoolboy)
    • “And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel and shining morning face, creeping like snail unwillingly to school”.
    • It is the second stage. Here is where his education starts, hence the name. He will be entirely unhappy with school.
  3. Teenager (Lover)
    • “And then the lover, sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad made to his mistress’ eyebrow. ”
    • According to NoSweatShakespeare, this is where he is grown into his late teens. In this stage, he will be into girls.
  4. Young Man (Soldier)
    • “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. “
    • A young man is likened to a soldier since this is where he fights and struggles hard in order to develop his reputation.
  5. Middle Aged (Justice)
    • “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 fifth stage. This is where he saw himself as a wise and experienced person and doesn’t mind sharing his views and ideas with anyone.
  6. Old Man (Pantaloon)
    • “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.”
    • A pantaloon is described, as mentioned, as a skinny old dotard with spectacles on nose and pouch on side. In this stage, he is nothing like his former self, may it be physical or mental.
  7. Dotage and death (Second Childishness and Mere Oblivion)
    • “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 final stage. Before dying, he loses everything, his mind, and his senses. The term “sans” in the monologue means “without” in French.

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