Seven Ages of Man, take 1, the infant

Shakespeare As You Like it, first the infant“… At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms…”
(As You Like It, act 2, sc. 7)

In this and some following posts we will review, one by one, the seven ages of man. Today it’s the first, the infant. The complete sequence is recorded at the end of this post. The related general introduction “All the World is a Stage” was dealt with in the post of February 29, 2012.

Tips for Use.  When an adversary displays a stupid and infantile behavior. E.G. “Come on, stop mewling and puking in the nurse’s arm.”
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Of course, if you acquire the book “Your Daily Shakespeare” you will not only enjoy it but you will find it very useful. The quote in this post and more than ten thousand others will lead you to find the words that perfectly strengthen your argument(s). After all Shakespeare wrote them, I simply extracted, structured and compiled them so as to make Shakespeare very “user friendly” as they say. And if you wish I will even sign the book. But this is the extreme extent of any “sales” effort, call or solicitation.

In the play. The character Jacques – a forerunner of a certain type of Voltairean characters, philosophizes on the main chapters of everyone’s life.

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 act being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms:
Then the whining school-boy, 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 hi mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Jealous in honour, sudden, and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation,
Even in the cannon mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lin’d,
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 slipper’d pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;
His youthful hose, well sav’d, a world too wide
For his shrank shank; and his big manly voice,
Turning again towards 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

original image,

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