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William Shakespeare

What effect does the repetition have on the description of the last stage of man?


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June 23, 2017 7:45AM

"Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything." The French word "sans" means "without". A good actor will slow this line down, as if Jaques is making a list of the things the old man no longer has. "Has he got teeth? No, they have all fallen out. Can he see? No, his eyes don't work either. Can he taste things? No, his sense of taste has gone also." The repetition of the word "sans" makes it sound like a list, so that when he comes to the end, the good actor will pause before the last word, as if he is saying, "Has he got . . . oh what the heck, why bother making a list? He has nothing left."