Ages of Man
William Shakespeare, Read by Sir John Gielgud

Book cover image

Narrated By: Sir John Gielgud

Duration: 1 hour and 18 minutes

What to expect

The seven ages are: infant, schoolboy, lover, soldier, justice, pantaloon and second childishness ready by Sir John Gielgud

The seven ages are: infant, schoolboy, lover, soldier, justice, pantaloon and second childishness. The speach about the seven ages of man happens in 'As You Like It'. The words are spoken by the character Jaques in Act 2, Scene 7:

'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 honour, 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.'


Poetry anthologies (various poets), Classic & pre-20th century plays

Listen to a sample