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All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women mere­ly play­ers;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His Acts being sev­en ages. At first, the infant,
Mewl­ing and puk­ing in the nurse’s arms.
Then the whin­ing school­boy, with his satchel
And shin­ing morn­ing face, creep­ing like snail
Unwill­ing­ly to school. And then the lover,
Sigh­ing like fur­nace, with a woe­ful bal­lad
Made to his mis­tress’ eye­brow. Then a sol­dier,
Full of strange oaths and beard­ed like the pard,
Jeal­ous in hon­or, sud­den and quick in quar­rel,
Seek­ing the bub­ble rep­u­ta­tion
Even in the can­non’s mouth. And then the jus­tice,
In fair round bel­ly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of for­mal cut,
Full of wise saws and mod­ern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slip­pered pan­taloon,
With spec­ta­cles on nose and pouch on side;
His youth­ful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank, and his big man­ly voice,
Turn­ing again toward child­ish tre­ble, pipes
And whis­tles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange event­ful his­to­ry,
Is sec­ond child­ish­ness and mere obliv­ion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans every­thing.

— William Shake­speare, As You Like It


All the world’s a stage…

entrances exits players stage world