Act II, Scene VII In this scene, Shakespeare discusses seven stages of life. Throughout Shakespeare's speech, he mocks life. Shakespeare gives a pastoral setting. "At first the infant, Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.
This is the first stage describing how we come to life. Shakespeare uses descriptions of mewling and puking, meaning vomit. He gives a gross outlook on being born instead of a happy setting of coming into this world. "Then the whining school-boy, with his satchel / And shining morning face, creeping like snail / Unwillingly to school", this is the second stage. Shakespeare is showing a common example of a boy going to school not interested and not wanting to school. Education is one of the most important things in life, without it you can go nowhere in life so the boy should not be upset but joyous for the fact that he is lucky enough to go to school.
"The lover, sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad / Made to his mistress' eyebrow", this is the third stage. Shakespeare is showing the act of falling in love, being at the woman's every moment. "Then a soldier, /Full of wise saws and modern instances"; in this stage this stage Shakespeare is making fun of how a boy will go to war, and not know what he is fighting for". "Then the justice, /In fair round belly with good capon lined. ". , this is the fifth stage. The justice can be compared to a very old man.
Shakespeare describes him with a full belly and all knowing. The justice has lived his life and he knows everything, he is very wise". "The lean and slipper'd pantaloon", this is the sixth stage. A pantaloon is a reference to the figure of Pantalone in the Italian Commedia dell' Arte tradition.
The Pantalone was a foolish figure, made fun of by the other characters. The pantaloon is an object of a joke. This can be compared to an old man screaming at young boys playing on his lawn. The last stage is "Is second childishness and mere oblivion". This stage is ultimately death. There is no more living and you have done your deed as being a human.