She should have died hereafter;There would have been a time for such a word.Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,To the last syllable of recorded time;And all our yesterdays have lighted foolsThe way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,And then is heard no more. It is a taleTold by an idiot, full of sound and fury,Signifying nothing.
—Macbeth, Macbeth V.v.18-28
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 school-boy with his satchelAnd shining morning face, creeping like snailUnwillingly to school. And then the lover,Sighing like furnace, with a woeful balladMade 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 reputationEven in the cannon’s mouth. And then, the justice,In fair round belly, with a 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 shiftsInto the lean and slippered pantaloon,With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wideFor his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice,Turning again toward childish treble, pipesAnd 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.
—Jaques, As You Like It, II.vii.140-167