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Describe how Shakespeare compares the play "As You Like It" to the seven ages...

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valu | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted March 5, 2008 at 4:50 AM via web

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Describe how Shakespeare compares the play "As You Like It" to the seven ages of man?

Jaques moralises on the life of man. This is in act 2 when Orlando goes to fetch Adam

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sullymonster | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted March 29, 2008 at 7:50 AM (Answer #1)

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Shakespeare outlines the Seven Ages of Man as follows: infancy (mewling and puking); boyhood (whining and shining); lover (sighing); soldier (jealous, with a beard); justice (fat and wise); pantaloon (spindly spec-wearer); second childishness (oblivious to everything).  In the play itself, we see some reference to every age.   Infancy is seen in the naivete of the major characters, who fail to recognize each other in disguise.  Boyhood is seen in the complaining of Orlando, Oliver and others, who wish for what they do not have.  Soldier is seen in Oliver and the dukes.  Both justice and pantaloon is seen in the wisdom and foolishness of Touchstone - so common for Shakespeare to use his "fool" to demonstrate both.  And finally, the second childishness is best demonstrated by the petulant action of Duke Frederick. 

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