Aging In the Reanissance and As You Like It Essay

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Aging In the Reanissance and As You Like It

Life starts upon the exit from the mother's womb. From that moment, time marches on until the inevitable death occurs to take one once again from the world of the living. Life and death fascinated various playwrights and authors of the Renaissance. Shakespeare made his interest in aging known in many of his plays and sonnets. He approaches this continuing theme from many angles. In many of his sonnets he talks about aging and how the image changes as one ages and gets older and less attractive. The most interesting of Shakespeare's plays involving a theme of aging is As You Like It. This is one of Shakespeare's latter comedies and asks the viewer to choose which romance he or she
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Last scene of all, That ends this strange eventful history, Is second childishness and mere oblivion, Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything" As You Like It, 2. 7. Norton 1622.

This speech clearly shows the Victorian views on aging.

Since the average lifespan was so much shorter during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, many people tended to get married and have children much earlier than today. Although it is commonly believed that the young love of >Romeo and Juliet was commonplace in England at this time, marriage registries show that many did not marry until their mid twenties (Best). This would mean a more mature man in the role of husband. As You Like It is a play to please everybody. So while there is happiness, there is sadness, while young there is old (Gardner 65).

During this time, England was a highly Patriarcherial society. With the exception of Queen Elizabeth I, the head of the house was a man, the overlord was a man, and even the estates were inherited by the firstborn son. It did not matter if there were three or four girls before a male birth; that male would inherit (Smith 65). Therefore an aristocratic boy would be educated in Latin and reading; a peasant would become an apprentice

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