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Chapter: 12th English : Poem : All the World’s a Stage

Contextual meaning of a few difficult phrases

English : Poem : All the World’s a Stage - By William Shakespeare : Contextual meaning of a few difficult phrases

Contextual meaning of a few difficult phrases.

Line 13:

jealous in honour: The young man takes great care of his honour, his reputation as a good man.

Line 13:

sudden and quick in quarrel: ‘quarrel’ is a slightly old-fashioned word for an argument; ‘sudden’ here means unpredictable - so in an argument this young man might suddenly become violent.

Line 14:

Seeking the bubble reputation: a bubble is empty, so by 'seeking the bubble reputation', Shakespeare means a short lived glory.

Line 15:

Even in the cannon's mouth: a 'cannon'

large gun, and its 'mouth' was at the front -so the man seeks his reputation even if it means standing in front of guns.

Line 16:

capon lin’d: ‘to line’ means to fill something at the edges here, the man was fat from eating good chicken.

Line 20:

lean and slipper'd pantaloon’ : this phrase describes a thin old man.

Line 23:

shrunk shank: - 'to shrink' means to grow smaller, and a 'shank' is a piece of meat cut from a leg of an animal - so man's legs have grown narrower with age.

Line 24:

treble: a treble is the higher part of a piece of music - so Shakespeare is referring to a boy's high-pitched voice.

Line 27:

oblivion: if someone is 'oblivious' he/ she doesn't know what is happening around him/her, and if he/she lives in 'oblivion' he/she is completely forgotten by other people.


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