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Explain the theme of the poem "The Seven Ages of Man" by William Shakespeare.

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“The Seven Ages of Man” develops a theme of the futility of age milestones. It is well known to Shakespearean and Greek philosophy scholars that these age milestones correspond to the Greek concept of the seven stages of life. Some Greek philosophers, such as Diogenes, named only four stages of life that corresponded with the seasons: childhood (spring), youth (summer), adulthood (fall), and aging (winter). The seven stages were similar but created two categories for childhood (young child and child on the cusp of puberty) and two categories for young adulthood adolescent (think just able to grow a sparse beard) and young man (shining with youthful vitality, but a completed adult in bodily form, perhaps a warrior). The “man” stage was commonly thought of as the prime of life, an ideal time for man to function as a leader. Meriting respect and physical signs of aging defined the next tier in the seven stages (elderly man), and the final stage (old man) implied a need for...

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