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.
 William Shakespeare, As You Like It (1623). copy citation

Author William Shakespeare
Source As You Like It
Topic life theatre play role
Date 1623
Language English
Reference As You Like It, Act II, Scene 7
Note Written between 1598 and 1599 Jacques line

Meaning and analysis

Kwize Master This sentence is the first of a monologue by Jacques, and it is one of Shakespeare's most famous images. The Duke points out that everyone experiences misfortunes and difficulties and Jacques replies by comparing theatre and life. He believes that everyone plays a role and that each period in a man's life refers to the successive acts found in a play.
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