Jacques' Speech Act in as You Like It

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  • Topic: Satire, Philosophy, All the world's a stage
  • Pages : 3 (948 words )
  • Download(s) : 312
  • Published : November 17, 2000
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In William Shakespeare's As You Like It the speech act is introduced and helps to create a unique insight into the play and its events. Shakespeare integrates a speech act by Jacques to deliver a deeper meaning and lesson to the audience or reader of the work. Jacques in his speech act conveys a message with a much deeper meaning and teaching to society in general. The speech act rendered by Jacques addresses the themes of satire, philosophy, and the ages of man. Jacques starts his speech act by stating that

" 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." (II, vii, 139-143)
Jacques has turned to philosophy in his search for a new identity, and as a philosopher he starts to question what he sees and hears around him. This drives him to offer this speech act where he sees the world as a stage upon which people perform. Their different ages signify varying acts and scenes in As You Like It. The descriptions presented by Jacques lead one to believe that the roles are somewhat beyond the player's control and perhaps even that the script has been set by an eternal power. Jacques addresses the topic of satire utilizing a unique way to convey the message to the audience or reader. A mention is made of the infant who "[mews] and [pukes] in the nurses arms "(II, ii, 144-146). He describes the event in such a graphic manner in order to paint a clear picture of the situation in the audience's mind. Jacques later relates how "a whining schoolboy, with his satchel and shining morning face… [creeps to school] (II, vii, 146-147). He goes on further to describe how the "lover, sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad made to his mistress' eyebrow (II, vii, 147-148). Jacques takes his satirical approach further as he states that "the justice, in fair round belly with good capon lined, with eyes severe and beard of...
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