William Shakespeare has been considered the greatest poet of all times. Only school educated, this great poet acquired fame because he had an extraordinary power of observation which he tempered with his brilliant imagination that gave a creative boost to his art. He was also gifted with unique taste of music which helped him to compose beautiful songs and sonnets. His imagination and observation along with a keen ear towards tone and rhythm rendered a sonorous and lyrical quality to his verses- something which was missing in other poets of his times.
Shakespeare wrote several comedies, tragedies and poems depicting his profound wisdom and psychological understanding of human nature. The poem ‘All World’s a Stage’ is typical example of Shakespearean genius as he metaphorically compares the world to a stage where every human makes an entry like a stage actor, plays different roles and, when time declares, leaves the stage eventually. The poem is beautiful example of his vision of life. The first stage of life is infancy.
The poet here describes a baby crying and throwing out in the mother’s arm calling for attention. In the second stage of life, the baby is now a school-going child who is unhappy and complaining as is unwilling to go to school but is forced to do so. The third stage in life is that of a lover. Young man in this age is full of deep sighs missing his beloved. He is preoccupied with her thoughts so much so that he sits writing long poems in praise of her beauty. The fourth stage in his life is that of a sincere and ambitious career-oriented professional.
A this age he is competitive, jealous for opportunities, desires recognition even if it involves risk or great danger. Next comes the middle-aged man, well-fed, highly experienced and full of wisdom. He has great sayings ready for every occasion and a remedy for every problem. The sixth stage is that of a retired old man. He is thin and dressed comfortably, wearing specs and a small purse with him. He is wearing a hose of his youthful times which he has saved till now which helps him in walking.
He is grouchy, complaining like a child carrying a pipe in mouth The last stage of life is when man has grown, weak, feeble and lacks strength and vitality. His life is at an end and he has nothing to look forward to. All he has before him is a memory of good old days. He sits reminiscing those times without teeth, eye-sight, taste and everything (hopes, desires, aspirations, etc), patiently waiting for his death.