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Short Answer Questions (with Solutions) - The Seven Ages Notes | Study English Class 9 - Class 9

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Read the following extracts and answer the questions that follow :

1. All the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely players:
 They have exits and entrances;
 And one man in his time plays many parts,
 [CBSE 2010 (Term II)]

(a) What does the poet mean by the terms ‘exits and entrances?
Ans. In this line ‘exits and entrances’ symbolise death and life respectively.

(b) What parallelism has the poet drawn between the stage and the world?
Ans. Stage is a platform in a theatre where actors perform their act. Similarly, life is an also a theatre where men and women play their part and die.

(c) Which figure of speech has been used in the second line?
Ans. A figure of speech used in the second line is ‘Simile’.

Q2. Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel, Seeking the bubble reputation Even in the cannon’s mouth : [CBSE 2010 (Term II)]
(a) Who is the person being described in the above lines?
Ans. The person described in the above lines is a soldier.
(b) What traits characterise this stage?
Ans. A man in this stage is fierce and can be easily provoked. He is prone to jealousy and a desire to safeguard his reputation.
(c) Explain: ‘the bubble reputation’.
Ans. Eagerness to seek reputation.

Q3. 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.
(a) How is the life of a person like an infant?
Ans. As an infant a man is totally dependent. Crying and vomiting milk in the nurse’s arms.
(b) How does a schoolboy appear?
Ans. A schoolboy appears to be sulking and unwillingly carrying his school bag to school.
(c) The schoolboy is depicted as ‘shining’ and ‘whining’? Why?
Ans. Since he is a small boy, his face is shining and whining depicts his unwillingness to go to school.

SHORT ANSWER QUESTIONS

Q1. What is the theme of the poem ‘The Seven Ages’?
Ans. According to Shakespeare human life is transitory. There is nothing permanent in it. This poem is based on a speech given by a character Jacques who is a cynic in the well-known play ‘As You Like It. For Jacques there is nothing noble or praiseworthy in a man’s life. He makes fun of all the seven ages of man and calls birth as ‘entry’ and death as ‘exit’.

Q2. Why does the poet say that the schoolboy creeps like a snail to school?
Ans. The schoolboy is not very willing to go to school. He is disinterested and just walks slowly like a snail carrying his school bag. He is always whining and complaining.

Q3. Describe the fourth and fifth stages of man.
OR
What characteristics does the poet associate with fourth and fifth stages of man. [CBSE 2010 (Term I)]
Ans. The fourth stage is of a soldier. He is fierce like - a leopard full of vigour and can easily be provoked. He is jealous and always defensive to save his honour. In the fifth stage, he is fat and huge. There is somberness in his eyes and his beard gives him a formal look. He is always full of advice for others and performs the role of justice.

Q4. 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.

(a) Why does the poet call the world a ‘stage’?
(b) What does the poet mean by ‘exits’ and ‘entrances’?
(c) How can one-man play many parts?

Ans. (a) Stage is a platform in a theatre where actors perform their parts. Similarly, life is also a performance in which men and women play different parts. These roles are preordained and are in God's power.
(b) The exits are deaths and entrances are births
(c) The various parts are the various stages in his life: Childhood, adolescence, youth, middle age and finally death.

5. 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.
 (a) How is the life of a person like an infant?
 (b) How does a schoolboy appear?
 (c) The schoolboy is depicted as ‘shining’ and ‘whining’ Why?

Ans. The first stage of man is of childhood an infant who cries and vomits in his nurse's arms. He is helpless and depends on others for his every need. The next stage is of a schoolboy who carries his school bag, goes to school unwillingly and slowly like a snail. At this time his face is always scrubbed and shining. But he is not a very willing student, he keeps whining and complaining.

Q6. Explain ‘All the world’s a stage’ with reference to the poem. (CBSE 2010)
Ans. In this poem, life is compared to a play. First, as a man plays different roles in a play so also does he in a real life. As on a stage, there is a particular entry and a particular exit of actors; in the same way in life man comes when he is born and departs when he dies. Just as a part is assigned to an actor, in the same God decides man’s role in life, what he has to do at various stages. Noting is in man’s hand.

Q7. What is the theme of the poem ‘The Seven Ages’.
Or
What do you think has the poet referred to as ‘an eventful history’ in the poem, The Seven Ages and why? [CBSE 2010 (Term I)]
Ans. Shakespeare said that human life is transitory. There is nothing permanent in it. This poem is based on a speech given by a character Jacques, who is a cynic, in the
well-known play ‘As You Like It. For Jacques, there is nothing noble or praiseworthy in a man’s life. He makes fun of all the seven ages of man and calls birth as ‘entry’ and death as ‘exit’.

Q8. Write two characteristics of infant state mentioned in the poem ‘The Seven Ages’. (CBSE 2010)
 Or
 How does Shakespeare describe a man in the first stage of life? [CBSE 2010 (Term II)]

Ans. The two characteristics of an infant stage are crying and vomiting out his milk. Whenever he needs anything he cries, whether he is hungry, sick, or wet. The only language he knows is of crying which attracts the attention of those who care for him. The only reaction he gives regarding his behaviour is by vomiting out his milk. These two traits characterise an infant.

Q9. Why has been the last stage of a man’s life referred to as second childishness’? [CBSE 2010 (Term II)]
Ans. An infant has to depend on others for everything. Similarly, an old man is weak and ignorant of everything around him. He has no teeth, no sense of taste and is
absolutely helpless.

Q10. What are the problems faced by a person in ‘Soldier’ stage? [CBSE 2010 (Term II)]
 Or
How does man as a soldier behave? (The Seven Ages) [CBSE 2010 (Term II)]
Ans. The fourth stage of a man is of a soldier. He is heroic, seeking reputation, willing to face total annihilation. He is fierce like a leopard, full of vigour and is easily provoked. He is jealous and defensive. He risks his life to become immortal.

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