Jaques’ Speech Act In As You Like It Analysis University Essay Example

In William Shakespeares As You Like Itthe speech act is introduced and helps to create a unique insight into the play and its events. Shakespeare integrates a speech act by Jaquesto deliver a deeper meaning and lesson to the audience or reader of the work. Jaques in his speech act conveys a message with a much deeper meaning and teaching to society in general. The speech act rendered by Jaques addresses the themes of satire, philosophy, and the ages of man.

Jaques starts his speech act by stating that All the worlds 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)Jaques 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 Jaques lead one to believe that the roles are somewhat beyond the players control and perhaps even that the script has been set by an eternal power. Jaques 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 audiences mind. Jaques 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). Jaques 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 formal cut … plays his part (II, vii, 153-156). Jaques finally ends his satirical approach by telling how at the end of life one is left sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything(II, vii, 166). He makes his point of the life that is lead by many in society and achieves his purpose through the usage of satire to do so.Jaques handles the issue of philosophy in his speech act in a way that enhances the rest of the play. As he states thatall the worlds a stage and all the men and women merely playersJaques poses a philosophical view of the situation being addressed. He opts to use symbolic means to express his feelings about the behavior of humans in society in which humans simply play out their lives on stage. Jaques goes on to say thatone man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages (II, vii, 2-3). He categorizes the stages of life into seven significant categories which all contribute to mans ultimate end. Jaques expresses a very pessimistic view of life and society in general through his philosophical examples.

As his speech act continues, Jaques makes a remark about the seven ages of man and how they add to mans ultimate end. Jaques breaks up the stages into infancy, schoolboy, lover, soldier, justice, a ridiculous old man or pantaloon and finally the stage at which one has no teeth, eyes, taste, or anything else (II, vii, 158). He regards infancy as a stage in which a child is so dependent upon a nurse or other helping hand. The infant then develops into a schoolboy who can be reluctant to attend school at times. This boy has already grown into a person who now begins to feel and act according to the feelings. The next stage encompasses one in which the man develops into a lover who will sing a ballad if necessary and who may not always be the most loyal husband or lover. The next stage as a soldier turns into one in which he is proud to serve and quick to battle in order to build reputation (II, vii, 149-151). This is a man now who is ready to serve his country and fight for a necessary cause. The man then develops into a justice who can be imperfect in many ways. Besides a fair round belly, he can be influenced by outside forces to sway a ruling or mold a case a certain way. As he approaches the old man stage, the individual begins to act in certain ways that bring ridicule unto himself. The last stage of all encompasses the old age of the man and leaves him without any senses or anything else, according to Jaques.

The speech act rendered by Jaques addresses the themes of satire, philosophy, and the ages of man. He conveys his deeper message to the audience or reader of the work through an elaborate and interesting method. He satirizes justices, a lover and even relates how at the end of the road one is left without any senses. He is able to depict the stages of man through real-life situations. Jaques also achieves integration of philosophical themes into his speech act. He turns into a philosopher as he analyzes and reflects on how people in society behave. Jaques relates this speech act in such a way that magnifies the effect of the play on the audience or reader of the work.Words/ Pages : 987 / 24

Animal Imagery In Hamlet

In Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet, animalistic imagery is seen throughout the play and intertwines many characters. There are two main types of animalistic behaviors seen in the play. First there are the common predator-prey relationships that are visible in all animalistic societies. In the animal kingdom there is a food chain where some smarter or more cunning animal hunts or tracks down the weaker animal, thus a predator-prey relationship. Second is the idea that the people in the play are similar to animals in their lack of any morals or any rational thought. Many characters act as if they have no morals at all. They exemplify the way not to be, as if they have no heart or soul.

The two most benevolent predator-prey relationships were between Claudius and Hamlet and vice versa. The two characters were both scheming of when and where to kill the other one. First there is Hamlet. Hamlet becomes a predator of Claudius when he gets confirmation from the ghost to kill Claudius regarding the revenge for his father. When Hamlet comes upon Claudius while he is in the confessional Hamlet has the chance to kill him. “Now I do it pat,} now he is a-praying’/ And now I’ll do’t” (3.3.77-78).

He doesn’t, for if he killed him while he was praying Claudius would go to heaven. Wanting Claudius to go to Hell, shows that Hamlet does not care about the welfare of Claudius. Hamlet thinking it was Claudius attacked Polonius behind the curtain. He is seeking the revenge of his father, but kills the wrong man do to him not knowing the fact that it was Polonius. Claudius is not really the prey of Hamlet. He himself is a predator of Hamlet. After the play the “Mousetrap”, Claudius realizes that Hamlet knows about the murder he committed. At this point he takes on a big predatory mind set toward Hamlet. He sees that he must eliminate Hamlet which he attempts when he sends Hamlet off to England for his death which he discloses “The present death of Hamlet.

Do it, England,/ For like the hectic in my blood he rages,/And thou must cure me”(4.4.74-76). He sent him off to be killed, but luckily Hamlet escapes. A few characters show little to no morals during certain parts of the play. The first characters are Claudius and Gertrude. Throughout the play they are seen to be immoral. Both characters go hand in hand since they are married. Shortly after the death of Hamlet Sr. both were drinking and having a great time. Hamlet hears them partying and says “And, as he drains his draughts of Rhenish down,/The kettledrum and trumpet thus bray out/The triumph of his pledge”(1.4.11-13).

This shows that Claudius and Gertrude are partying very shortly after the death of Hamlet Sr. which shows very little remorse, cares, or concern to the deceased Hamlet. Later in the play Hamlet refers to Claudius and Gertrude in the following way: ” In the rank sweat of a enseamed bed,/ Stewed in corruption, honeying and making love/ Over the nasty sty!” (3.4.104-106). This line shows Hamlet views his mom and Claudius as animals for animals live in a sty. They make love in there sty like animals. Another aspect of this quote needs to be looked at is that they are making love.

Claudius, the deceased Hamlet Senior’s brother, is having sex with the dead Hamlet’s wife. This is immoral they do not have regard or feelings toward Hamlet Jr. at all, for if they did they would not have relations with one another visible to where he knows about it. Their immoral behavior and shows they are like many animals in that animals have no regard or any visible regard toward other animals. Laertes is a character that has very little morals and seems to have no rational thought until the very end of the play.

He comes back from France, to find his father had been murdered. He being very angered goes on a rampage seeking the death of Hamlet. While he does this, he cares nothing about his afterlife at all. He says “To cut his throat I’ th’ church”(4.7.144). By this he is saying that he would kill Hamlet in a church. To kill someone in a church is very animalistic, for it shows no care or morals such as an animal. Laertes even likens himself to an animal when he says “like the kind life rend’ring pelican” (4.5.168).

An animal does not care where it kills its prey. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are also characters seen as animals. These characters are animals because they are immoral. They are immoral for they act as Hamlet’s friend, but that they turn around and spy on him. They are working for the king, the person that Hamlet hates the most, and are spying on Hamlet. Only an animal would have such a not caring attitude toward one of its own kind. Hamlet talking about trusting Rosecrantz and Guildenstern says “and my two school fellows,/ Whom I will trust as I will adders fanged” (3.4.225-226). He says he would trust them as if they were snakes, which cannot be trusted for they care not about the person they are with, only about themselves.

Shakespeare does a good job of bringing many characters into the play with an animal parallel. This shows that Shakespeare wanted these people to be seen as animals which are immoral, not trustworthy, and blood hungry. In the end all of the characters likened to animals die or are killed and the ones that aren’t remain for the most part. The animal imagery in Hamlet is a key theme throughout the play.

The Theatrical Works Of 5C Athens Represent A Very

It is difficult to compare the works of Aristophanes and Homer, and make a decision as to whether or not Aristophanes plays are more advanced than Homers writing, as they serve a different purpose and are told conpletely differently. Aristophaness stories are meant to be performed in the form of a play.

Homers Iliad is an epic, and through his language the reader can only picture the scene. They cannot be compared as such, but we may pass judgment on whether the works of Aristophanes has advanced in quality, in relation to Homers Iliad. Literature reflects the circumstances of the times by providing a social and political commentary. This commentary is represented by Aristophanes, one of the best known tragic and comic poets of the fifth and fourth century B.C.

As Greek society became more sophisticated a new type of poetry arose among the Greeks. Unlike Homer, authors of this lyric poetry sang not of legendary events but of present delights and sorrows. This new note, personal and passionate, can be seen in the works of Aristophanes, in which the contrast between the new values and those of Homer’s heroic age is sharply clear. By the fifth century B.C. in Athens, two distinct forms, tragedy and comedy, had evolved. Borrowing from the old familiar legends of gods and heroes for their plots, the tragedians reinterpreted them in the light of the values and problems of their own times.

Comedies were vulgar and lively. There were no laws against libel or obscenity in Athens, so political satire became a favorite subject of the comedians. Aristophanes, the most famous comic-dramatist, brilliantly satirized Athenian democracy as a mob led by demagogues. A favorite target of his was the political leader Cleon he based several of his plays around him. Yet he also put intelligent messages between his jokes.

For example, in his play Lysistrata, the women of Greece stop the Peloponnesian War with a sex boycott, refusing to sleep with their husbands until they agree to end the fighting; thus, he could advocate peace and women’s rights in the same story. By allowing such coarse humor even in difficult times, the Athenians may have shown us why Athens remained a cultural center after its best years ended; they were never afraid of the truth, and could always laugh at themselves.

Aristophanes Wasps is a parody on the political situation in Athens at the time of his writing, namely an attack on the entire jury system. Aristophanes is attacking the irresponsible use of power by these juries. It should not be thought that Aristophanes wants to end the jury system or even has any idea of how its processes could be reformed. Rather Aristophanes is focusing on the moral corruption of the people who pay for the jurors and the jurors themselves.

The main characters names, Procleon and Anticleon, represent both supporters and non-supporters of the political leader Cleon, whom Aristophanes has also targeted. The Illiad by Homer is an epic which recounts the tale of the Trojan War, and the valiance of Greek heroes who are inspired by the whims of the gods. Homer represents the gods as irreverent supernatural entities who govern the fates of men. Homer intertwines the natural world of men with the divine world of the gods in which the gods are active participants in the lives of men.

By contrast, Aristophanes ridicules the gods in his play The Frogs. He presents Dionysus in an unflattering light, trying to cash in on the brave image on Heracles by dressing up as him. His servant Xanthias even gets the better of him. In The Frogs, Dionysus and Xanthias call at the house of Heracles, to whom Dionysus explains that he sadly misses Euripides, who has recently died; as the god of the dramatic festivals, Dionysus is especially affected by the loss of a man whose career as a tragic dramatists had lasted for nearly fifty years. So Dionysus is going to the underworld to bring him back, and has disguised himself as Heracles to fortify himself against the dangers of the journey.

The real Heracles once went down to the underworld to bring up the monstrous dog which guarded its door, and Dionysus wants advice from him on how to get there. Heracles makes fun of him and does his best to frighten him, but at last promises him that when he hears the sounds of the initiates he will be close by the palace of Pluto, the god of the underworld. Aristophanes has made a reference to Hercules and Odysseus going into the underworld, which contrasts with Dionysus making the same journey it becomes a parody.

Dionysus was in fact the patron god of poetry, song and drama he represents the very poetry competition that Arisophaness plays are performed in, thus Aristophanes shows a lack of respect towards the gods. There is another reference to Homer in The Wasps. Procleon climbs up the chimney, pretending to be smoke when he is seen emerging from it; he tries to push the front door open against the slaves who push it shut; he clings to the underside of a donkey, like Odysseus escaping from the cave of the Cyclops by clinging to the underside of a great ram . Anticleon says anyoned think youd got Odysseus hanging on underneath.

Homers Iliad was the first war book written, carrying timeless messages. Aristophanes plays were specific to the time, commenting on what he believed was wrong in Greek society. We cannot understand many of the references as they were relevant to the current situation in Athens.

The chorus in The Wasps and The Frogs carried many important messages and reflected the views of Aristophanes. They would perform what is known as the parabasis, speaking to the audience on issues not directly related to the play. Homer and Aristophanes cannot be compared. To say whether one is better than the other comes to down to a personal choice, of what is more enjoyed. Aristophanes is less demanding to read, and does not require as much thought, being far less of a challenge.

However, although his plays appear to be mere comedies they do carry many serious messages, especially political, which are of great importance. He doesnt appear to believe that if something cannot be explained, then it must be by the whim of the gods. That is the difference between Aristophanes and Homer. Homer clearly believes in the gods, and uses them for many explanations as seen in The Iliad. To judge whether one is more advanced than the other can merely be through enjoyment of reading them.


  1. Homer, Translated by Martin Hammond. The Iliad 1987 Penguin Group, London.
  2. Aristophanes, Translated by David Barrett. The Wasps The Poet and The Women The Frogs. 1964 Penguin Group London.

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