“I hold the world but as the world, Gratiano;A stage where every man must play a part,And mine a sad one.”(The Merchant of Venice, Act I, Scene I)”For what else is the life of man but a kind of play in which men in various costumes perform until the director motions them offstage?” ErasmusAll The World’s A StageAll 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 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 honor, sudden and quick in quarrel,Seeking the bubble reputationEven in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice,In fair round belly with good capon lined,With eyes severe a
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