The Importance of Literary Devices in "The Seven Ages of Man" by William Shakespeare

Decent Essays

“All the world’s a stage the men and women merely players”. This line is the beginning of the “The Seven Ages of Man” and is a recurring question throughout the poem. You may wonder how the world is stage, and through his use of similes, metaphors, and imagery Shakespeare explains this elaborates on this question.
William Shakespeare’s use of similes in the “Seven Ages of Man” helps to start the poem and give it a meaning early on by adding emphasis on certain topics. For example in the beginning he uses the “men and women merely players” (Line 2) to explain that people don’t own the world but live in it. By using this simile he explains how people progress through life like a play, making an entrance to the stage and leaving afterwards. …show more content…

Furthermore Shakespeare compares “The Last Age” to childishness and oblivion meaning that after you have gone through all the stages everything you have built up demolishes and you start back at the first stage. The last line of the poem helps you to determine how the play ends and because this comparison is made it makes you aware of people in your life that have gone through a few of the stages described by Shakespeare. Giving you the idea that the stages may occur in your life but in the end it really doesn’t matter what you have done, because it will most likely be destroyed. The idea that what you have developed will be demolished makes you wonder what you are doing and have done with your life.
Imagery is prominent in “The Seven Ages of Man” and is used to give meaning to a line or phrase meaning while creating complex images. When Shakespeare describes the boy as a “creeping snail and sighing like a furnace” you can image a drowsy boy who is on his way to school, but when described as having a “shining morning face” it gives you a completely different idea. By placing two differential images close together Shakespeare creates two separate moods in a few lines, which helps to determine the difference between two phases. Later on in the poem he uses the same strategy and says the man is “bearded like a pard”, portraying the image of a slightly older man who has moved on from the childish phase of the young schoolboy. He also says he

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