Full Exercise Solution of the Poem “All the World’s a Stage by William Shakespeare” Class 11 English All Notes: Questions & Answers
Understanding the text
Answer the following questions.
a. Why does the poet compare the world with a stage?
➜ The poet compares the world to a stage because he considers all men and women like the actors of a drama. These actors perform their different roles here in this stage and leave this worldly stage one day.
b. What is the first stage in a human’s life? In what sense can it be a troubling stage?
➜ The first stage in a human’s life is the stage of infanthood. It can be a troubling stage in the sense that this stage is a fully dependent stage where the infant is fully under the care of the mother. The infant can cry and even vomit anytime in mother’s arms.
c. Describe the second stage of life based on the poem.
➜ The second stage of life is the stage of boyhood. In this stage, the boy is a school going, student. He slings his bag over his shoulder with his shining face and creeps to school unwillingly like a snail.
d. Why is the last stage called second childhood?
➜ The last stage is called second childhood because here in this stage the man loses his senses of sight, hearing, smell and taste. He acts like a child and finally exits from the roles of his life.
e. In what sense are we the players in the world stage?
➜ We are the players in the world stage in the sense that we perform different roles here in this world stage. We play seven different roles in our entire lifetime and finally depart from this world stage.
Reference to the context
a. Explain the following lines:
All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players
➜ Here in these lines, the poet has compared the whole world with a stage where men and women are only players (actors). After birth, they perform their many roles here in this worldly stage and finally, leave this stage moving towards their final destination (death).
b. Explain the following lines briefly with reference to the context.
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
➜ These beautiful lines have been taken from William Shakespeare’s realistic poem “All the World’s a Stage”. These lines are the parts of Jacues’s monologue. Here, the poet has said that the people in the world have their entrances (birth) and exits (death). People arrive here in this worldly stage through birth and leave this stage through death. A man here in this worldly stage has to perform many roles in his lifetime and leave the stage after his death.
c. Read the given lines and answer the questions that follow.
Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school.
i. Which stage of life is being referred to here by the poet?
➜ The childhood stage of life is being referred to here by the poet.
ii. Which figure of speech has been employed in the second line?
➜ In the second line, simile, a figure of speech has been employed where the boy has been compared with snail using like.
iii. Who is compared to the snail?
➜ The school-going boy is compared to the snail.
iv. Does the boy go to the school willingly?
➜No, the boy doesn’t go to the school willingly. His unwillingness can easily be the motion of snail towards his school.
d. Simile and metaphor are the two major poetic devices used in this poem. Explain citing examples
➜ Here in this poem, we find major poetic devices as simile and metaphor. The poet has used these poetic devices a lot. The examples of simile and metaphor of this poem are as follows:
a) “All the world’s a stage” – Metaphor
b) “And all the men and women merely players” – Metaphor
c) “And shining morning face, creeping like a snail” – Simile
d) “Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,” – Simile
e) “Seeking the bubble reputation” – Metaphor
f) “His youthful hose, well sav’d, a world too wide” – Metaphor.
g) “and his big manly voice, Turning again toward childish treble” – Metaphor.
e. Which style does the poet use to express his emotions about how he thinks that the world is a
stage and all the people living in it are mere players?
➜ The poet uses a narrative style to express his innermost emotions about how he thinks that the world is a stage and all the people living in it are mere players or characters. These characters go through seven different phases in their lives. He has explained the real aspects of human life for all readers to understand the reality of life.
f. What is the theme of this poem?
➜ The theme of this poem is that person is the ultimate loser in the game of life. A person makes an entry in this worldly stage and performs different roles in his lifetime. Finally, he/she leaves this worldly stage struggling in different circumstances. He/She comes empty-handed here and leaves this stage empty-handed. He/She brings nothing and takes nothing.
Reference beyond the text
a. Describe the various stages of human life picturised in the poem “All the world’s a stage.”
➜ According to Shakespeare, the world is a stage and everyone is a player. He says that every man has seven stages during his lifetime. He performs different seven roles in his lifetime and finally exits from this worldly stage. The first stage of a man is childhood. He plays in the arms of his mother. He often vomits and cries in this stage. In his second stage, the man is an unwilling school going, student. He becomes a lover in his third stage. He is very busy composing ballads for his beloved and yearns for her attention. In the fourth stage, he is aggressive and ambitious. He seeks reputation in all what he does. He is ready to guard his country and becomes a soldier. In his fifth stage, he becomes a fair judge with maturity and wisdom. In the sixth stage, he is seen with loose pantaloons and spectacles. His manly voice changes into a childish treble. The last stage of all is his second childhood. Slowly, he loses his faculties of sight, hearing, smell and taste and exits from the roles of his life. Thus, Shakespeare has presented the pictures of the seven stages of a man’s life in the poem ‘All the World’s a Stage’.
b. Is Shakespeare’s comparison of human’s life with a drama stage apt? How?
➜ Yes, Shakespeare’s comparison of a human’s life with a drama stage apt. He compares the whole world with a stage where men and women are only actors. In a drama, every player enters the stage, acts his/her part and then exits. In the same way, we enter this world by birth. We lead our life in different characters. We exit from this world at the time of our death. Shakespeare says that every man has seven stages during his lifetime. His opinion related to life is quite right. Players or people come into this worldly stage and perform their seven different roles and finally part away from this stage. Our life is divided into seven different stages and in these stages, we keep on performing different roles seeking various things in our life as actors. Here in this worldly stage, we play the role of an infant, a boy, a lover, a soldier, a judge, an old man and an extremely old man.