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  Explain the theme of the poem "The seven stages of a man".  "The seven stages of...

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fireneos | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 24, 2010 at 10:31 PM via web

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Explain the theme of the poem "The seven stages of a man".

 

"The seven stages of a man" by William Shakespeare

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missy575 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted February 24, 2010 at 11:20 PM (Answer #1)

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There are two themes I see clearly emerging:

1. Life always changes. Once you have mastered something, you have to move on to the next stage and experience it's problems afresh. It refers to the parts or roles we play at various stages just like you see in a play.

2. Life is a cycle. You could say it ebbs and flows or goes back and forth, but from the beginning to the end of this you see a pattern. In the beginning, the infant is "mewling and puking in the nurses arms." By the end of life we get to some of that second "childishness" with the old man oblivious or senile, and missing all kinds of things (taste, eyesight, teeth, and everything).  These two "parts" men play throughout their lives are literally the same.

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