7 ages of man shakespear sculpture

Seven Ages of Man: 22 foot sculpture inspired by shakespeare’s All the World’s a Stage

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The Seven ages of man monologue in William Shakespeare’s play ‘All the World’s a Stage’ depicts the Seven stages of mankind, and is the inspiration for this 22-foot high cast aluminium Sculpture by Richard Kindersley, located on Queen Victoria Street, Blackfriars.

The Post office commissioned the sculpture in 1980 for its Baynard House building, located in Blackfriars London. The sculpture depicts the 7 stages of mankind, as depicted by William Shakespeare in the comedy play ‘All the world’s a stage’, ‘As You Like It’, Act 2 Scene 7. the life cycle of life.

According to this scene in Shakespeare’s play, life for mankind evolves through seven distinct stages, or 7 acts, from infancy to old age.  Richard Kindersley totem sculpture depicts this journey starting at the bottom with infancy. As you journey up the column, the infant becomes the boy and then then matures through the stages of adulthood. Man essentially plays seven parts in his life time, may leave his mark and leaves this earth.

What is the Moral of the seven ages of Man

The realisation that nothing in life is permanent and to accept that we are all on this journey of life from the cradle to the grave, life is temporary and death is inevitable. In the broader or more modern context, life is what you make of it, you are only here for a finite time.

When you grow up you will have different things that happen in your life that will change who you are later in life.

What are Shakespeare’s seven stages of man?

Stage 1 Infancy

The helpless baby, the very beginning, where nothing is known

Artist Richard Kindersley The Seven Ages of Man Sculpture - Stage 1 Infancy
Artist Richard Kindersley The Seven Ages of Man Sculpture – Stage 1 Infancy

At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms;

Jacques monologue act 2, scene 7

Stage 2 Schoolboy

The formal education phase begins, the journey from boy to man really begins

Artist Richard Kindersley The Seven Ages of Man Sculpture - Stage 2 Schoolboy The formal education phase
Stage 2 Schoolboy The formal education phase

The whining schoolboy, with his satchel

And shining morning face, creeping like snail

Unwillingly to school. 

Stage 3 Teenager

The growing into adulthood

Artist Richard Kindersley The Seven Ages of Man Sculpture Stage 3 growing into Adulthood Teenager
Artist Richard Kindersley The Seven Ages of Man Sculpture Stage 3 growing into Adulthood Teenager
Artist Richard Kindersley The Seven Ages of Man Sculpture
Artist Richard Kindersley The Seven Ages of Man Sculpture

The lover, sighing like a furnace with a woeful ballad

Stage 4 Young man

The bold and fearless soldier, a risk-taker and defined growth and then the lover,
Sighing like a furnace, with a woeful ballad

Artist Richard Kindersley The Seven Ages of Man Sculpture - the young man
Artist Richard Kindersley The Seven Ages of Man Sculpture – the young man

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,

Artist Richard Kindersley The Seven Ages of Man Sculpture - the young man and soldier
Artist Richard Kindersley The Seven Ages of Man Sculpture – the young man and soldier

Stage 5 Middle-aged

The wise and experienced adult, making a name for himself, prosperous and respected, enjoys the finer things of life, like good food.

Artist Richard Kindersley The Seven Ages of Man Sculpture - Middle Age
Artist Richard Kindersley The Seven Ages of Man Sculpture – Middle Age

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;

Artist Richard Kindersley The Seven Ages of Man Sculpture - Middle Age
Artist Richard Kindersley The Seven Ages of Man Sculpture – Middle Age

And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slippered pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;

Stage 6 Old Man

The look and behaviour of an old man, less influential

Artist Richard Kindersley The Seven Ages of Man Sculpture - Old Man
Artist Richard Kindersley The Seven Ages of Man Sculpture – Old Man

His youthful hose, well sav’d, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound.

Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion;
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.
by William Shakespeare 1564–1616

Stage 7 Dotage and death

The end cycle, mind and health decline

Artist Richard Kindersley The Seven Ages of Man Sculpture
Artist Richard Kindersley The Seven Ages of Man Sculpture
Artist Richard Kindersley The Seven Ages of Man Sculpture
Artist Richard Kindersley The Seven Ages of Man Sculpture

Inspirations of the seven ages of man

The 7 ages of man, mirrors the 7 deadly sins. Juvenal the Roman poet wrote about the whole of Greece is a stage and every Greek an actor. The Play Damon and Pythias written around 1564 by Richard Edwards, referred to the world is a stage and people playing their parts.  But there are more connections the Latin words quod fere totus Mundus exercet histrionem – mean ” because almost the whole world are actors.”  It was a 12th century saying. It was on a sign at Shakespeare’s Globe theatre and also has a connection to the Roman courtier Petronius.

The seven ages of Man depicted in oils

King Henry the V had a tapestry with the 7 ages of man. An artist by the name of Smirke painted a series of paintings based on the seven ages of man 1798-1801. They comprised the Infant, Schoolboy, Lover, Soldier, Justice, Pantaloon, Old Age In 1838 another painting by William Mulready.

Baynard House

The Seven Ages of Man Totem pole sculpture is in the courtyard of Baynard House, owned by BT Group. William Holford’s Brutalist designed building stands at 3 stories tall, the height dictated by legislation that protects the sightline of St Pauls Cathedral from certain directions on the compass. It derives the Building’s name from Baynard Castle, which once occupied the site. The name also lends itself to the ‘Castle Baynard Ward’. Baynard house was also the film location for Mission Impossible 6

The seven ages of man sculpture is made of Cast Aluminium

Sculpturer Richard Kindersley made the 7 meters tall Seven Ages of Man sculpture out of cast Aluminium. The usual process for sculpturing in metal is by way of building a model, pouring in more molten metal than you need into the mold.

“All the World’s A Stage”, the beginning of Shakespeare’s’ monologue in his play “As you like it”.

‘All the world’s a stage’, by William Shakespeare

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. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms;
And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school.

The Four ages of Man

The Roman poet Ovid describes the Four Ages of man, Gold, Silver, Bronze, and Iron. A belief in the theory of evolution. Perhaps unlike Shakespeare’s seven ages of man, Ovid describes the four stages of mankind.

The Golden age is one where people lived in peace and blissful harmony with nature. The earth provided everything we ever needed, a state of ideal utopia.

The Silver age, the creation of the 4 seasons, the evolution of agriculture, the need to work to survive. The need to seek and build shelter in winter to survive until summer.

The Bronze age brought men to arms

The Iron Age, brought the cycle of evil, greed, corruption, all things went wrong. The world was a stage of murder an mayhem.

All quite dramatic, the names also relate to metals and are recognised today as periods of times of mankind

  1. Golden Age 1710 to 1674 BC
  2. Silver Age 1674 to 1628 BC
  3. Bronze Age 1628 to 1472 BC
  4. Heroic Age 1460 to 1103 BC

Location

We can find it on Queen Victoria Street on the way towards Blackfriars.

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1 thought on “Seven Ages of Man: 22 foot sculpture inspired by shakespeare’s All the World’s a Stage”

  1. hotshot trucking

    Fantastic sculpture for people that are fanatic of arts and historic cultures. Nice content.

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