The Seven Ages by William Shakespeare - Ncert Solutions of Class IX, Cbse English Literature Reader


CBSE Class 9, NCERT English (Communicative) Interact in English Literature Reader

THE SEVEN AGES by William Shakespeare  

NCERT Solutions / Answers of Textbook Exercise Questions

Question 1: What according to you are the stages of a person’s life ? What characteristics would you associate with “each stage” ?
Solution / Answer:
Student - studying in a school or college - idealism; honesty; helpful.
Middle Age - employed, may or may not be married, worried for family - cleverness; sense of responsibility.
Old age - retired from job, looking after grand children - wisdom; frustration; growing religious attachment.  
Question 3: On the basis of your understanding of the poem, answer the following questions by ticking the correct choice.
(i) All the world’s a stage is an extended metaphor for -
a)     the life shown in well known plays.
b)     seeing the well known plays.
c)     life of well known actors.
d)     life of man that comes to an end.
(ii) All, have their exits and their entrances’. Exits and entrances refer to -
a)     birth and death
b)     beginning and end of play
c)     coming and going of actors
d)     the end of the Shakespearean era.
(iii) The seven roles that man plays correspond to his -
a)     chronological age in life
b)     desires
c)     mental age in life
d)     idea of a perfect life
Solution / Answer: (i) - a (ii) - a (iii) - a
Question 4: Having this extract, identify the stages of a person’s life as Shakespeare has done. Write down these stages in your notebook, and sum up the characteristics of each stage in two or three words.
Solution / Answer:
School going boy
Candid, honest, fresh, playful and smartly dressed
Unhappy, sometimes dejected, sentimental, philosophical writing romantic poems
Young, energetic, short tempered, like to be honored  
Justice / Middle age
Disproportionate body with fat and a pet belly, quotes proverbs and examples, talks with confidence
Old age
Declining health, health cautious, dwindling confidence, worries for family
Very old age
Forgetful, health problems, dependant, second childhood

Question 5: Work individually and rank the seven stages in order of attractiveness. If you think being a schoolboy is the most attractive, you could rank it number 1.  
Solution / Answer: 1.Lover 2.School going boy 3.Soldier 4.Judge / Middle age 5.Infancy 6.Old age 7.Very old age.
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,
. . . Seeing the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon’s mouth.  
Solution / Answer:
(a) The poet calls this world a stage because here drama of life takes place. All men and women are like actor and actresses. In the drama of life ‘entrances’ and ‘exits’ refer to births and deaths. People appear on the stage when they are born, play their roles and exit when they die.
(b) A lover is at times sad and feels dejected. He has been compared with a furnace. He heaves deep sighs like a wind bag of a furnace when he is sad as it expresses the pain of his separation from the beloved.
(c) A soldier aspires to be honored for his bravery. The soldier who is ready to sacrifice his life does not even know that his reputation is as short lived as a bubble which bursts in no time.      
Question 7: You already know the two literary devices generally used by writers for comparison, i.e., metaphor and simile. e.g.,
(a) He was a lion in the battle, (metaphor)
(b) He fought like a lion, (simile)
 … Copy and complete the following chart. Which comparison(s) do you find most interesting ? Why ?
Solution / Answer:
all the world’s stage

men, women
all the men and women merely players


creeping like snail

sighing like furnace

beard like the pard
bubble reputation

childish treble

Question 8: In the poem The Seven Ages, 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).
Solution / Answer: Human life is like a river. At its origin, it is small and weak. But as it flows it grows to become stronger and bigger. It is noisy and playful like a human child. At its youth it is highly energetic, powerful, sometimes violent, and destructive too. But like that of a young man, this energy of river can be utilized in the form of water mills, generating power etc. Then the river becomes mature when it flows into the planes. It is broad, deep, and slow just like a middle aged human being. At this stage, the river becomes supportive for the cities, industries that come along the bank of its course. It supports agriculture through irrigation. The river becomes old as it approaches the sea. Like an old man the river also becomes sluggish before it disappears into the sea.     

The Seven Ages (NCERT CBSE Class 9 English Literature Reader- Poem by William Shakespeare)  
  • Cbse Ncert Class 9 The Seven Ages - English Literature Reader (Poem) - MCQs [READ] 
  • Ncert Guess Questions - Cbse English Literature Reader - Class IX, The Seven Ages by William Shakespeare [READ] 

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