NCERT Solutions for Class 9 English Literature Reader Chapter 10 The Seven Ages

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NCERT Solutions for Class 9 English Literature Reader Chapter 10 The Seven Ages

Textbook Questions Solved

Question 1.
What according to you are the stages of a person’s life? What characteristics would you associate with each stage? (e.gchildhood : innocence, joy)
Answer:
The other stages of life which are not mentioned in the extract by Shakespeare are:

StagesCharacteristics
(1)Childhoodinnocence, joy, carefree life
(2)Youthdynamism, strength and romance
(3)Middleresponsibility, maturity and Age wisdom

Besides the above mentioned stages, Shakespeare describes seven stages in man’s life. They are

StagesCharacteristics
(1)Infantmewling and pucking.
(2)Schoolboyunwilling to go to school, shining face.
(3)Loversighing, writing romantic ballads for mistress.
(4)Soldierjealous in honour, quick in quarrel, seeking bubble reputation.
(5)Justicefull of wise sayings and modem instances.
(6)Old pantaloonShrunk shank, manly voice turns into childish treble.
(7)Last stageSecond childishness, without taste, without eyes.

Question 2.
Listen to this extract from Shakespeare’s play As you like it, As you listen, read the poem aloud, you can do this more than once.
Answer:
For self-attempt.

Question 3.
On the basis of your understanding of the poem, answer the following questions by ticking the correct choice:
(a) All the world’s a stage is an extended metaphor for ______
(i) the life shown in well known plays.
(ii) seeing the well known plays.
(iii) life of well known actors.
(iv) the life of man.
Answer:
(iv) the life of man.

(b) All ‘have their exits and their entrances Exits and entrances refer to ______
(i) birth and death
(ii) beginning and end of play
(iii) coming and going of actors
(iv) the end of the Shakespearean era
Answer:
(i) birth and death

(c) The seven roles that a man plays correspond to his ______
(i) chronological age in life
(ii) desires
(iii) mental age in life
(iv) idea of a perfect life
Answer:
(i) chronological age in life

Question 4.
Having read this extract, identify the stages of a person’s life as Shakespeare has done. Write down these gtages in your notebook, and sum up the characteristics of each stage in two or three words. e.g.

StagesCharacteristics
(1)infancycrying

Answer:

StagesCharacteristics
(1)infancycrying
(2)Schoolboyunwilling to go to school.
(3)Loversighing for mistress.
(4)Soldiersearching for bubble reputation.
(5)Justicefull of wise sayings and instances.
(6)Old pantaloongrows weak
(7)Last stagesecond childhood.

Question 5.
Work individually, and rank the seven stages in order of attractiveness. If you think being a schoolboy is most attractive, you could rank it number 1. Then, work in groups of four and compare your individual rankings.
Answer:

S.NoStagesRank
1.infancy1
2.Schoolboy2
3.Lover3
4.Soldier4
5.Justice5
6.Old pantaloon6
7.Last stage7

Question 6.
Explain the meaning of the following:
(a) …all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances…
(b) And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace…
(c) a soldier,
…Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon’s mouth.
Answer:
(a) Shakespeare compares this world to a stage. All men and women are like actors. They play their individual roles and go away. Like the stage of dramas, life too has its own exits and entrances. In this world, men take birth and go out when they die.
(b) The third stage of life is that of a lover. He is always sighing like furnace for his beloved. He is full of passions and emotions for his beloved.
(c) The fourth stage of life is that of a soldier. He is ready to die for honour. He is very quick to seek honour and reputation. He is ready to sacrifice his life and jump into a cannon’s mouth just for a momentary reputation.

Question 7.
You already know the two literary devices generally used by writers for comparison, Le. metaphor and simile. e.g.
(a) He was a lion in the battle, (metaphor)
(b) He fought like a lion, (simile)
In (a) the writer talks of the soldier in terms of a lion. The comparison is implied. In (b) the writer compares the soldier to a lion with the use of the word like, (as may also be used for such comparisons.)
Read the poem again and note down the metaphors and similes. Copy and complete the following chart:

ItemMetaphorSimile
worldall the world’s a stage
men
women
schoolboy
lover
soldier
reputation
voice

Which comparison(s) do you find most interesting? Why?
Answer:
The metaphor of‘stage’ is quite interesting. Men and women are merely players. The simile describing the lover sighing like a furnace is quite apt and logical. So is the metaphor ‘bubble reputation’. It shows the transitory nature of honour or reputation the soldier is seeking. The metaphor ‘childish treble’ highlights the high-pitched sounds created when the ‘old pantaloon’ speaks.

ItemMetaphorSimile
worldall the world’s a stage
menmerely players
women
schoolboywhining schoolboycreeping like a snail sighing like a furnace bearded like the pard
lover
soldier
reputationbubble reputation
voicechildish voice

Question 8.
In this poem, life is compared with a play. Just as in a play a man acts many parts, so also in life, a man plays many roles. Can you think of some other comparison for life ? (For example, life could be compared with the seasons in nature, the days of the week, the lessons in a school day.) Select one of these comparisons (or choose one of your own), and write about the similarities that life has with it. (80-100 words)
Answer:
Similarities of Seasons in Nature with Stages of Life The cycle of seasons in nature is very similar to the cycle of man’s life. Men take birth and make entrance on the stage of life. Similarly, seasons start with the spring. Everything sprouts and blooms. It is the best period of man’s life. It is full of colour, romance and beauty. Then comes the summer. It is full of warmth and heat is unwilling to go to school. He carries a satchel with him and walks slowly like a snail towards his school.

Paraphrase & Reference To Context

Read the extracts given below and answer the questions that follow:
Question 1.
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.

(Lines 1—5)

अनुवाद : समस्त संसार एक रंगमंच की तरह है। और इस संसार के सभी नर और नारियाँ सिर्फ नाटक के खिलाड़ी हैं। उनके अपने निकास और प्रवेश द्वार हैं। (वे संसार में जन्म लेकर आते हैं और मर कर इससे बाहर चले जाते हैं)। एक ही व्यक्ति अपने जीवन में कई भूमिकाएँ करता है। उसे सात भूमिकाओं (अवस्थाओं) को निभाना पड़ता है।
Paraphrase: This world is like a stage in a theatre. All the men and women are only the actors of this stage of life. Like the stage, this world has its exits and entrances. People come into this world when they are born and go away from it when they die. One man has to play many parts in his lifetime. He plays and enacts seven stages of life.
NCERT Solutions for Class 9 English Literature Chapter 10 The Seven Ages 1

Question 2.
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.

(Lines 5—9)

अनुवाद : सबसे पहली अवस्था एक नवजात शिशु की है। वह अपने पालने-पोषणे वाली धाय की भुजाओं में रोता और उलटी करता रहता है। फिर एक रोते-शिकायत करते स्कूल जाने वाले बच्चे की अवस्था है। वह अपने चमचमाते चेहरे और बस्ते के साथ अनिच्छा से एक घोंघे की तरह रेंगता हुआ स्कूल जा रहा है।
Paraphrase: The first stage of life is that of an infant. He is always crying and vomiting in his nurse’s arms. The second stage is that of a schoolboy who is complaining as he is not interested in going to his school. With his shining morning face and a small bag over his shoulder, he is walking slowly towards his school inching like a snail.
NCERT Solutions for Class 9 English Literature Chapter 10 The Seven Ages 2

Question 3.
And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress’ eyebrow.

(Lines 9–11)

अनुवाद : और तीसरी अवस्था एक प्रेमी की है। वह एक भट्ठी की तरह आहें भरता, अपनी प्रेमिका की भवों पर एक अति उदास प्रेमगीत लिख उसे अर्पित करता है।
Paraphrase: The third stage is that of a lover. He sighs like a furnace and shgs a sad song dedicated to his lover.
NCERT Solutions for Class 9 English Literature Chapter 10 The Seven Ages 3

Question 4.
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.

(Lines 11—15)

अनुवाद : फिर (चौथी अवस्था) एक सिपाही की है। वह अजीबो-गरीब कसमों से भरपूर है, और एक तेंदुऐ की (दाढ़ी) तरह अपनी दाढ़ी रखता है। वह सम्मान प्राप्ति के लिये सतर्क रहता है। लड़ाई-झगड़े में तेज और तत्पर रहता है। और क्षणिक सम्मान की प्राप्ति हेतु तोप के मुँह में भी जाने के लिये तैयार रहता है।
Paraphrase: The fourth stage is that of a soldier. This stage in full of strange oaths. He is attentive for honour. He is always ready to quarrel. He can even enter the mouth of cannons for temporary fame.
NCERT Solutions for Class 9 English Literature Chapter 10 The Seven Ages 4

Question 5.
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.

(Lines 15—19)

अनुवाद : और फिर अगली अवस्था एक न्यायाधीश की है। मोटे-मोटे मुर्गे खाकर उसका पेट अच्छा-खासा बड़ा हो गया है। उसकी आँखें कठोर दिखायी देती हैं और उसकी दाढ़ी औपचारिक शैली की है। वह बुद्धिमान कहावतों और आधुनिक उदाहरणों से परिपूर्ण है। और इस प्रकार वह अपनी भूमिका निभाता है।
Paraphrase: The next stage of life is that of a judge. He has a very big round belly as he is so fond of eating big and fat male chickens. He is a man of severe or hard looks. He wears a beard of formal cut. He is very intelligent and is full of wise sayings and modern examples. And so the justice plays his own role.
NCERT Solutions for Class 9 English Literature Chapter 10 The Seven Ages 5

Question 6.
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.

(Lines 19–25)

अनुवाद : छठी अवस्था में मनुष्य एक दुबला पतला स्लीपर पहने एक ढीली पतलून पहनने वाले में परिवर्तित हो जाता है। उसकी नाकों पर चश्मे और कमर पर थैली लटकी रहती है। उसने अपने मोजों को जिन्हें उसने अपनी जवानी में खरीदा था, अच्छी तरह बचाकर रखा हुआ है, और ये मोजे उसकी सिकुड़ी टाँगों के लिए ढीले हैं। और उसकी मर्दानगी भरी भारी आवाज इस अवस्था में बच्चे की तरह बाँसुरी और सीटी बजने वाली हो जाती है।
Paraphrase: In the sixth stage of his life a man turns into a lean and thin, slipper-wearing pantaloon with loose trousers. He wears glasses on nose and keeps a leather pouch on his side. He bought stockings in youth and have saved them well. Those stockings are too loose for his shrunk and thin legs. His coarse and loud manly voice produces whistles and piping sounds like a child as he speaks.
NCERT Solutions for Class 9 English Literature Chapter 10 The Seven Ages 6

Question 7.
Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

(Lines 25—28)

अनुवाद : सबसे आखिरी दृश्य, जो कि इस घटनापूर्ण जीवन-इतिहास का अंत करता है, दूसरा बचपन’ है। इस अवस्था में आदमी भुलक्कड़पन का शिकार हो जाता है। वह बिना दाँत, बिना स्वाद का हो जाता है। उसकी आँखें कमजोर हो जाती हैं।
Paraphrase: The last scene which ends the eventful life-history of man is second childishness and mere forgetfulness. In this stage man loses teeth, loses taste and loses everything.
NCERT Solutions for Class 9 English Literature Chapter 10 The Seven Ages 7

ABOUT THE POEM

‘The Seven Ages’ by William Shakespeare occurs in the play As You Like It. It is a speech by one of the characters of the play, Jacques, who is a cynic.

The poem conveys the idea that the world is like the stage of a theatre where men and women are actors. They come on the stage, enact their roles and then quit the stage. Human life can be divided into seven stages. The first stage in man’s life is infancy. The next stage is that of a school-going child. In the third stage the boy grows into a romantic lover. The next stage is that of a soldier ready to make sacrifices. The next role man plays is that of a self-satisfied, wise and prosperous justice. Then he becomes a weak, thin man. And finally comes the age of senility when man loses all his faculties. Thus ends the drama of his eventful life.

 

REFERENCE TO CONTEXT QUESTIONS (SOLVED)

Read the given extracts and answer the questions that follow:

Question 1:
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances.
(а) Which stage of life has been described here by Shakespeare ?
(b) What are the features of this stage ?
(c) Explain the last line.                   (CBSE2014)
Answer:
(a) Here Shakespeare describes the fifth stage of life, that is, of a justice.
(b) In this stage man enjoys prosperity, self-satisfaction and wisdom. He is fashionable. He has stem looks.
(c) At this stage man is full of wise sayings and examples from contemporary life. He impresses others with his knowledge and wisdom.

Question 2:
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.
(а) What is the world compared to ?
(b) Exits and entrances mean________ .
(c) What do you mean by ‘acts’ in the last line.
Answer:
(a) The world is compared to the stage of a theatre.
(b) deaths and births.
(c) ‘Acts’ in the last line mean roles which a person enact in his life-time.

Question 3:
At first the infant
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.
(а) Which stage of life is being referred to here ?
(b) What are the characteristics of this stage ?
(c) Give the meaning of ‘mewing’.
Answer:
(a) The stage of life described here is infancy.
(b)At this stage an infant in helpless and dependent.
(c) ‘crying’

Question 4:
Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel And shining morning face, creeping like snail Unwilling to school.
(а) What is the school going by described as ?
(b) How does the school boy walk to school ?
(c) Which simile has been used here ?
Answer:
(а) The school-boy is described as unwilling to go to school.
(b) The school boy walks very slowly like a snail while going to school.
(c) ‘creeping like snail’.

Question 5:
And then the lover
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad Made to his mistress’ eyebrow
(a) Is the lover described happy ?
(b) How does he behave ?
(c) Which figure of speech has been used in the first two lines here ?
Answer:
(a) He is not happy. He is sorrowful.
(b) He sighs and writes sad verses in praise of his beloved’s beauty.
(c) It is a simile. It also acts as an image.

Question 6:
Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths, and feared like a pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation Even in the cannon’s mouth.
(а) What is the soldier ready to do ?
(b) What is the poetic device used in the second line ?
(c) What does ‘bubble reputation’ mean ?
Answer:
(a) The solider is ready to die for name and fame.
(b) It is a simile.
(c) It means that reputation is as short-lived as the life of a bubble.

Question 7:
………………… 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
(а) What does the phrase ‘shrunk shank’ in this stanza mean ?
(b) How is the voice of a man at this stage ?
(c) What stage of a man’s life is referred to in these lines ?
Answer:
(а) It means that his legs become weak and thin.
(b) The voice of a man at this stage becomes shrill like that of a child,
(c) It is the sixth stage of man’s life.

Question 8:
Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.
(a) What is man’s condition in the last stage of life ?
(b) What do you mean by ‘sans’ ?
(c) What does ‘second childishness’ mean ?
Answer:
(a) Man is very old and dependent in the last stage of life.
(b) It means ‘without’.
(c) It means that man is helpless like a child.

SHORT ANSWER QUESTIONS (SOLVED)

Answer each of the following questions in 30-40 words.

Question 1:
What is the significance of the words ‘entrances’ and ‘exits’ in the poem ‘The Seven Ages’ ? (CBSE 2014)
Answer:
Human life has been compared by the poet to a stage of theatre where actors , appear, enact their roles and quit. ‘Entrances’ here signify human births and ‘exits’ deaths. Human beings take birth, play their parts and die.

Question 2:
Explain‘mewling and puking’in the nurse’s arms. (CBSE 2014)
Answer:
The infant cries and vomits milk in the arms of his nurse. He can do nothing but cry to express his needs. He is totally helpless and dependent.

Question 2:
Why does a man in his life play many parts ? (CBSE 2014)
Answer:
A man. is fated to play many roles in his life. As he grows, his role changes and his character also changes accordingly. He takes birth only to play different roles-the roles of an infant, a school boy, a lover, a soldier, a judge, an old and senile person.

Question 4:
Describe the second stage of life as elaborated by Shakespeare in the poem ‘The Seven Ages’. (CBSE)
Answer:
The second stage of life is the school-going age. The school boy sulks as he does not want to go to school. He walks to school as slowly as a snail. He has, of course, a bright face, like that of a sunny morning.

Question 5:
Explain the first stage of human life. (CBSE 2014)
Answer:
Infancy is the first stage of human life. An infant cries and vomits milk in the arms of his nurse. He is helpless and dependent.

Question 6:
What characteristics would you associate with the stage of a soldier ? (CBSE 2014)
Answer:
Energy, enthusiasm, rashness and patriotism are some of the characteristics of a soldier. A soldier can sacrifice even his life for short-lived reputation.

Question 7:
Explain the line ‘the lean and slippered pantaloon’. (CBSE 2014)
Answer:
The line reveals that in the sixth stage of life, man becomes quite lean and thin. He wears slippers. He looks a funny old man in his loose clothes.

Question 8:
Explain the stage of justice. (CBSE 2014)
Answer:
The stage of being a judge is perhaps the best. At this stage, man is prosperous and well-fed. He looks stern and impressive. He is full of wise sayings and examples from contemporary life to prove his point.

Question 9:
Compare the sixth stage with seventh stage. (CBSE 2014)
Answer:
The sixth stage is that in which man becomes old, weak and thin. In his loose clothes he looks funny. In the seventh stage he becomes senile. He enters into ‘second childishness’. He is as dependent upon others as a child. He has no teeth, no sense of taste and loses every mental faculty.

VALUE-BASED LONG ANSWER QUESTIONS (SOLVED)

Question 1:
If human life is nothing but a ‘tamasha’, what message does the poet want to convey to us ?
Answer:
Shakespeare, through one of his characters Jaques, wants us to realize the fact that human life is like the stage of a theatre. Men and women, like actors, come, play their roles and quit. Each stage of life has its own peculiarities. Nothing good and charming remains for long. The same man who looks charming and dashing looks weak, thin and funny in old age. Then why should we take life seriously ? Why should we sulk and complain ? We should accept our fate humbly. We should be ready to play our role on the stage of life to quit for ever. Nothing in this world is permanent. Nothing is in our hands.

Question 2:
Describe in brief the seven stages in man’s life.
Answer:
Shakeshpeare conveys through his character Jaques, that human life can be divided into seven stages. The first stage is that of an infant who is totally helpless and dependent. Then the second stage is that of the school-going boy. He is unwilling to go to school. In the third stage, man plays the role of a lover who heaves deep sighs in the absence of his beloved. In the next stage, he is an energetic, rush soldier who is ready to sacrifice even his life for short lived reputation. In the fifth stage, he plays the role of prosperous, well fed judge. He shows off his wisdom and knowledge to impress others. Then in the sixth stage he is a weak, thin old man. He looks funny in his loose clothes. The last stage is that of senility when man becomes childlike. He loses his reflexes and senses. Thus, ends the drama of his life.

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