The World’s Stage

Unknown-2In the play As You Like It William Shakespeare tries to emphasize to the reader that we are all actors on one big stage. In act II scene VII for example the melancholy Jacques laments his view on the world. He states this while also commenting that we have “ our exits and entrances”. This cynical view, clearly demonstrates Jacques cynical view regarding humanity, that we are all but actors doing our part until we are forced to exit. The passage as a whole, and the character Jacques cynical view is similar to that of Hamlet. Like Jacques, Hamlet has an extremely cynical tone towards the world while also be extremely melancholy. The passage makes you realize the recurring theme in Shakespeare’s writing, the theme that we truly control nothing. This theme especially in As You Like it may be connected to the fact that Shakespeare lost his son Hamnet. His son Hamnet died, making Shakespeare integrate a cynical tone in his writings. Overall, Jacques monologue is a paragon example of Shakespeare’s melancholy tone introduced into his writing after his son’s death.

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This entry was posted in As You Like It Spring 2015, Digital Shakespeare. Bookmark the permalink.

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