William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

All The World's A Stage - Poem by William Shakespeare

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.


Comments about All The World's A Stage by William Shakespeare

  • Chinedu Dike (1/14/2017 8:11:00 PM)


    Kudos! To the grand masterpiece of the game. (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Geeta Radhakrishna Menon (1/7/2017 10:33:00 PM)

    Unparalleled lines of William Shakespeare
    I have these lines imprinted in my memory, right from my schooldays.
    I keep remembering them and quoting them.
    Undoubtedly, William Shakespeare is one of the greatest of English poet s,
    most widely read and appreciated.
    I salute this poem and the wisdom ingrained in it.
    (Report) Reply

  • (1/7/2017 5:55:00 PM)


    so much for your school days being the best of your life (Report) Reply

  • Seamus O' Brian (1/7/2017 5:17:00 PM)

    Someone Has Pissed Off the PH Gods
    Sacrifices should be made,
    but there are no virgins to be found
    in all the land.
    Perhaps we will be forced to round
    up our caravans
    and wander off to higher ground.
    (Report) Reply

  • Neptune Barman (1/7/2017 5:57:00 AM)


    This poem beautifully describes the journey of human life with few lines... (Report) Reply

  • (1/7/2017 2:43:00 AM)


    I have always loved those first 4 lines! And this is the first time that I'm reading the whole piece. And what a joy! Such wisdom in this brilliant writing. And what a way to sum up one's life. I'm so impressed that I think I'll take a stab at writing a modern version. (Report) Reply

  • (1/6/2017 9:21:00 AM)


    The great vision of the master spirit that defined life in such a simple way. Thanks for sharing it here. (Report) Reply

  • Bernard F. Asuncion (1/6/2017 1:25:00 AM)


    The wisdom here is superb! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! Thanks for sharing+++++++++++ (Report) Reply

  • Ramesh T A (1/6/2017 1:09:00 AM)

    Mirror of Life!
    Wonderful message about man's seven ages of life in his famous Play, As You Like! It is an interesting Play for all to see and enjoy as it is a mirror of human life wonderfully depicted by Shakespeare suitable for all times in human life! (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (1/6/2017 12:54:00 AM)

    Strange oaths
    Childishness. Thanks for sharing this poem with us. (Report) Reply

  • Muzahidul Reza (1/6/2017 12:32:00 AM)


    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. famous poem
    (Report) Reply

  • Sylva-onyema Uba (1/6/2017 12:22:00 AM)


    Life is like a theatre house. Actors act and go.
    Absurdity and nothingness of life portrayed here by the master poet and king of literature-Shakespeare.

    Sylva-Onyema Uba
    (Report) Reply

  • Tom Allport (12/31/2016 12:33:00 PM)

    tom allport
    sums up a life for the lucky few? a clever poem. (Report) Reply

  • Rod Mendieta (12/14/2016 5:40:00 PM)

    Four Perfect Lines
    Poetry is magical: a whole poem may be condensed in four perfect lines. To me the four first ones of this poem. I reread them every so often and (sorry) don't care much about the rest! (Report) Reply

  • R Soos (11/19/2016 9:07:00 AM)

    our greatest mentor
    lines like this taught me what true poetry was when I was a whining schoolboy, and I am so glad I had a teacher willing to spend time with us exploring how and why we should read Shakespeare:

    the whining schoolboy, with his satchel
    and shining morning face, creeping like snail
    unwillingly to school

    Honesty, above all, is important in poetry - and Shakespeare has that in abundance. Most fascinating, if given this line in a room of 10,000 people I'm sure only one would recognize it as Shakespeare. One other would guess Billy Collins, another Langston Hughes, and 2 or 3 might say Allen Ginsberg. In the United States, the other 9,994 people simply do not read poetry: (

    Timeless and universal =: -)
    (Report) Reply

  • Indira Renganathan (11/13/2016 8:28:00 AM)


    Wonderful thinking....simply superb in simply simple language....like a lot- 10+++++++ (Report) Reply

  • Stephen Loomes (11/6/2016 2:33:00 AM)

    The Super Brow
    How great that William Shakespeare followed the Lord's Chamberlains Men to London and left this canon of genius, and in this poem, he accurately describes our journey through this so brief life. (Report) Reply

  • (10/24/2016 8:26:00 AM)

    Wealth
    I reflect on this great poem of Shakespeare. Every mans body is poor, guaranteed to expire around age 85, both the king and the pauper. The rich may fill his pocket will millions. (Report) Reply

  • (10/10/2016 7:00:00 PM)


    I fell in love with this poem when I was given the chance to resite it in presentation at school (Report) Reply

  • (10/7/2016 9:23:00 AM)


    Superb (Report) Reply

Read all 160 comments »

# 23 poem on top 500 Poems

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What do you think this poem is about?

Read poems about / on: ballad, soldier, justice, history, school, women, world, woman



Poem Submitted: Monday, January 20, 2003



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