Monday, 25 April 2016

The Seven Ages of Man: SHORT ANSWER QUESTIONS

What similarities between the world and the theatre does William Shakespeare present in the poem ‘The Seven Ages of Man’?
In the opening line of the poem, Shakespeare calls the world a stage; all men and women are called players or actors and their lives are their performances on this stage; their births and their deaths are their entries and their exits from the stage.

What are the seven stages into which Jacques divides a man’s life?
The seven ages into which Jacques divides a man’s life are infancy (a new-born), childhood, adolescent, youth, a full-grown man, a wise man, an old man and an extremely old man. A man in that particular age plays that particular part and then

Why does the schoolboy go to school at a snail’s pace?
The term “at a snail’s pace” means “to move very slowly”. In this phase of his life, man is educated in the ways of living in his world. He, being a young boy, is taught etiquettes and ethics. Man who is born free does not like to be chained or tied in any manner what so ever, so despite his healthy and glowing appearance, he, due to his unwillingness, moves very slowly like a snail towards his school.

Why does the lover “sigh like furnace”?
The third age of man’s life is described as a very emotional stage. As an adolescent he often falls in and out of love and then in again. He desires to love and be loved. When he falls in love, his heart burns with desire, and he composes poetry and sings songs for his beloved. He sighs or becomes sad if his feelings are not reciprocated. A furnace makes a sigh sound when fire burns, so the comparison.

Describe the first three stages of man’s life as given by Shakespeare in the poem ‘the Seven Stages of Man’.
According to Shakespeare the first three ages of a man’s life are infancy, childhood or adolescent and youth.
The new-born is helpless and dependent upon others for its needs. It is always crying about one or the other thing and making itself sick. In the second phase of his life, man is educated and taught etiquettes and ethics. Man who is born free does not like to be chained or tied in any manner what so ever, so despite his healthy and glowing appearance he moves very slowly like a snail towards his school. The third stage of man’s life is described as a very emotional stage. As a youngster, he often falls in and out of love. When he falls in love, his heart burns with desire, and he composes poetry for his beloved. He sighs with sadness if his feelings are not reciprocated.

What motive is said to make the soldier brave in battle?
The desire to become famous constitutes a man in this age of life. This stage, like the third stage, is also a very emotional one; however in this stage man does not aspire for love; he aspires for fame and reputation. He becomes very quick to temper and often picks fights. He seeks fame and for it he even puts his life in danger. It is this urge that drives him and he faces every danger like a leopard.

Why does the poet compare a soldier to the ‘pard’?
It is done to compare a soldier’s bravery to a leopard. Man, in this stage, acquires the traits of a leopard. Like a leopard, he is ready to jump into dangers without a moment’s thought, and he often gets angry without any particular reason.  In Shakespeare’s time young men used to keep beards and this is compared to the hair (beard) under the chin of the leopard.

Why is a soldier, “Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in quarrel”?
A soldier becomes jealous of his colleagues, in matters relating to his honor. If his colleagues supersede him in rank or win more praise because of bravery, it is natural for a person, to feel jealous. And if a soldier gets dishonored, he would act suddenly and quarrel, for the sake of his honour or give his life in front of a cannon.
Basically a soldier is nurtured and groomed in the atmosphere of heroism. By instinct he is supposed to be enthusiastic and warm hearted. Death keeps no fright to him.  “Chivalry and heroism are the mark of a soldier’s nature”. He can always put his life into danger for personal pride or the honour of his country.

Why does Jacques take a disrespectful, humorous view of man’s life.
OR
“Jacques takes a disrespectful, humorous view of man in all the parts he plays through life.” Elaborate.
There is no doubt that Jacques is making fun of man. His description of the young lover, as “Sighing like a furnace” at the disinterest of his beloved or the young lover singing sad songs in praise of his beloved’s eyebrows. The funny description of the justice, who becomes fat from eating rich food, shows his prosperous position in the society. The description of the old man, with spectacles on nose and pouch on side (a slight tummy), and wearing pantaloons and slippers. The soldier bearded like the leopard and jealous in honor, are all examples of a humorous view of life.

According to Shakespeare, the fifth stage of man is quite different from his fourth stage. Elaborate.
Yes, with the advent of the fifth stage a man’s personality undergoes quite a remarkable change. His physical appearance changes from that of a smart fellow into a bulky one; his eyes become severe, and he changes the cut of his beard too. His emotional outbursts are replaced by sober and measured tone. He becomes a believer of “look before you leap” and plays the role of a “justice” He becomes less active and refrains from plunging into unexpected fights. His aspiration for fame and reputation is replaced by lust for good food. He takes upon himself the task of reforming the youth, and to do this he bombards them with wise sayings and his own experiences. Thus in this stage he becomes the voice of authority.

What is a “justice”? How is a justice portrayed in The Seven Ages of Man?
OR
Why does the poet talk of the justice, “in fair round belly with good capon lin’d”?
A justice is a person who is able to judge a situation fairly, give importance to even a minor detail and then act. He is not influenced by his emotions but acts upon facts only; he takes upon himself the task of reforming the youth and becomes the voice of authority. According to the Jacques, a man in his fifth stage of life plays the role of justice.   However, he presents a humourous picture of a justice of the Shakespearean times. He makes fun of his eating habits because of which he develops a pot belly, and so the words, “in fair round belly with good capon lin’d”. His new life style makes him physically lethargic and dull. The signs of old age begin to develop from this stage.
Forty is the old age of the youth.
Fifty is the youth of old age.

Draw a comparison between the fifth and the sixth stage of man.
OR
What changes come into man’s life when he enters his sixth stage?
 The sixth stage marks the downward journey of man. As a man moves into the sixth phase his personality undergoes quite a remarkable change. His physical appearance changes from that of a bulky fellow into a lean and weak one; however, he does not part with his old clothes and attired in his loose clothes, he appears to be a clownish figure. His eyes that were severe lose their brightness. He becomes short-sighted and starts wearing spectacles. His sober and measured tone loses its authority and turns into childish trebles; he speaks with “pipes and whistles in his sound”. He starts carrying a pouch with him. (During Shakespeare’s time old people used to sniff tobacco, and used to carry it with them.)

Why does the writer call the seventh stage of man ‘the second childishness’?
OR
Compare the first stage of man with the seventh stage of man.
The last stage of man’s life is called “second childishness” by the poet because of its semblance with the first stage. In this stage like in the first stage man becomes dependent upon others for his every need. Like a child, he often falls sick and needs to be taken care of. Like a new-born, he has no teeth and no taste. Like a child, he is unable to understand the common happenings of everyday life. His eye-sight that had started weakening in the sixth stage becomes terribly weak, and he is unable to see what goes on in the world around him. He becomes forgetful. This stage portrays a very pathetic picture of a man, who may be there but he has no significance. He quietly slips into oblivion. 

Briefly discuss the “theme” or “philosophy” of Shakespeare’s poem The Seven Ages of Man.
The poem is a part of the monologue of Jacques in Shakespeare’s As You Like It. The first two lines are oft-quoted, and the poem has been frequently anthologized. The very first two lines of the poem exemplify Shakespeare’s notions regarding life, destiny and providence. He strongly believes in preconceived notions regarding life. The poet comprehends that the stage is set by the Ultimate Creator, and we are mere puppets out to act our roles out as directed by Him. Their exits and entrances are ‘stage-managed’ or predetermined.

Describe some characteristics of second stage of life as narrated in The Seven Ages of Man.
After he goes through his infant life, Shakespeare’s man emerges as a school child who slings his bag over his shoulder and creeps most unwillingly to school. Though he is endowed with a shining face and the vigour of youth, he moves likes a snail unawares of the blessings he is attributed with. He is afraid of what the world holds in store for him, and apprehensive of moving out of his protective shell.

Briefly discuss how a soldier behaves according to Shakespeare.
Subsequently, Shakespeare’s man graduates into a bearded as a pard or as hairy as a leopard soldier who promises solemnly to guard his country. He is filled with national pride, is quick to be insulted and is always ready to spring up in defense. At this point of time he is more concerned with status and reputation. He wants to take the world by storm, full of promises. He seeks a bubble reputation, a transitory form of accomplishment, which is real only for the present, never for the past or the future. He is impulsive in expressions, and instinctive in emotions.

Describe the seventh age of man.
OR
What is the significance of the last stage of man's life in the poem The Seven Ages of Man?
OR
Jacques portrays a very pathetic picture of man in the last phase of his life. Elaborate.
The last stage of man’s life is called “second childishness” by the poet because of its resemblance with the first stage. In this stage like in the first stage man becomes dependent upon others for his every need. Like a child, he often falls sick and needs to be taken care of. Like a new-born, he has no teeth and no taste. Like a child, he is unable to understand the common happenings of everyday life. His eye-sight that started weakening in the sixth stage becomes terribly weak, and he is unable to see what goes on in the world around him. He becomes forgetful. This stage portrays a very pathetic picture of a man, who may be there but he has no significance. He quietly slips into oblivion. This stage signifies the end of life.

What is the significance of the fifth stage of man's life in the poem The Seven Ages of Man?
The fifth stage of man signifies maturity and experience. In this stage, a man’s personality undergoes quite a remarkable change. From a smart fellow, he changes into a bulky one. His eyes become severe, and he changes the cut of his beard too. He starts behaving like a judge rather than an emotional fellow. He becomes less active and refrains from plunging into unexpected fights. His aspiration for fame and reputation is replaced by lust for good food. He poses to be sober and starts bombarding the youth unceasingly with his wise sayings and his own instances. Jacques makes fun of his fondness for food and his unceasing outbursts.  

Describe the sixth stage of man's life with reference to the poem The Seven Ages of Man.
The sixth stage marks the downward journey of man. As a man moves into the sixth phase his physical appearance changes from that of a bulky fellow into a lean and weak one; however, he does not part with his old clothes and attired in his loose clothes, he appears to be a clownish figure. His eyes that were severe lose their brightness. He becomes short-sighted and starts wearing spectacles. His sober and measured tone loses its authority and turns into childish trebles; he speaks with “pipes and whistles in his sound”. He starts carrying a pouch with him. During Shakespeare’s time old people used to sniff tobacco, and used to carry it with them.

Explain the lines,
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;
In the lines given, Shakespeare presents the fourth part of man’s life. At this stage, his physical vitality is at its bloom. He is energetic, sharp, alert and short tempered. His search for adventures threatens his life, but he damn cares for it. His beard like the leopard makes him a frightful object. He lacks decency and refinement in his personality. He would fight at once, when he finds his honour in question. He can fight and sacrifice his life for the glory of his country.

Explain the lines,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness, and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

In the lines given, Shakespeare comments on the concluding chapter of man’s history. Man has witnessed many fluctuations in his living. After living in the life of fulfillments, he has entered the most pathetic part of his history. His remaining life span is thronged with many hardships. His frame of flesh suffers acute decadence. He has lost senses which are essential for a normal living. Although, being old, he is respected by all, but he becomes detestable for so many. After his becoming a burden on his family, he breathes his last.

No comments:

Post a Comment