What Are “The Seven Ages Of Man”?

What are “the seven ages of man“? Shakespeare listed seven ages a man goes through in his life:

  1. Infancy
  2. Schoolboy
  3. Teenager
  4. Young Man
  5. Middle Ages
  6. Old Man
  7. Second Childhood

Here are the seven ages of man in picture-form:

The seven stages of man, in pictures

The seven stages of man, in pictures

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1 reply
  1. Harriet
    Harriet says:

    Here are two examples, both from offerings of Macbeth, of the enormous power of the cinema in terms of articulating Shakespeare.

    1) In Casson’s 1978 film featuring the Royal Shakespeare Company, the early scenes show one of the three witches broken out in an intense feverish sweat, barely able to walk or speak. She is quite noticeably in this condition; the other two are not. Much later on – most graphically during the “Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow” sequence – McKellen is shown in the same state of heated physical fervor. The visual implication is unmistakable: the same possessing spirit that gripped her body is now gripping his. Whether or not we feel this to be a legitimate interpretation of Shakespeare’s writing is beside the point, which is that it would be extremely unlikely for this impression to be gotten solely from reading.

    2) In Jack Gold’s film for the BBC series the sky, in the scene in which Duncan, Banquo and others arrive at Inverness, is lit a brilliant and intense orange behind them. The gate of the castle stands opened, and the bars of it, sharpened at the ends like swords or spikes, are filmed in the foreground in such a way that they appear to be coming down right on the heads of Banquo and Duncan. This visual evocation of danger and betrayal anthropomorphizes the castle in a way I don’t reading alone ever could.



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