How can you explain this phrase of William Shakespeare's famous poem "Seven Ages of Man" from As You Like It: "Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything"?
Sans is a French word meaning "without," so the given quotation means, "Without teeth, without eyes, without taste, without everything." This is the final line of Jaques' soliloquy from act two, scene seven of As You Like It.
In the soliloquy, Jaques says that the lives of men pass through different stages, much as a play passes from one act to the next. In fact Jaques identifies seven stages in the life of man. The first stage he says is infancy, and the last stage is a return to infancy, bringing man's life full circle. Jaques calls the seventh stage the "second childishness." He says that just as a new born baby begins life toothless, blind, and with no understanding of the world, so too the elderly man ends life toothless, blind, and with no understanding of the world.
This idea of man's life being cyclical is a common idea in Shakespeare's plays. In Hamlet , for example, the eponymous Hero tells Claudius that, "A man may fish with the worm that hath eat of a king, and eat of the fish that...
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