What does Shakespeare mean in this two lines from As You Like It: His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide And whistles in his sound.These lines are from the last stage

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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These lines are from the famous speech of Jaques, the "resident sourpuss" in the Forest of Arden from Shakespeare's As You Like It. After hearing another character mention that the world is "a wide and universal theatre," Jaques uses the already trite metaphor of "all the world's a stage" to launch his seven ages of man monologue.

In the last stage of his life, a man loses much of his muscle since his body does not produce testerone, which is what creates muscle.  Therefore, the man's hose/stockings that he wears from his youth will hang on his now withered legs.  Then, because he probably has lost some teeth, there are small airways made in his mouth.  Consequently, when he speaks, as his tongue moves with the formation of certain words, there may well be a whistling sound.  Clearly, in the last stage, the dying process is accelerating in Jaques speech about life's fate and fortune.

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