View Full Version : Why 7?

09-26-2007, 04:08 PM
Is there any significance to the number seven (7) in the play "As You Like It"? For instance there are :

7 ages of man,

Touchstone relates 7 "causes" in Act V, scene 4 (Retort Courteous, Quip Modest, Reply Churlish, etc),

Jaques discusses 7 types of melancholy in Act IV scene 1.

My guess is that this isn't coincidence.

09-26-2007, 04:36 PM
the number seven has always been particularly favored since ancient times, for example the notion that Yaweh created the world in seven days, or the seven planes of consciousness. Perhaps the author also wanted to use this "popular" number?

09-26-2007, 05:37 PM
Yes, 7 is a biblical number, distributed in many cases in classic and modern literature. Even in poems, like Yeats' "The Wild Old Wicked Man" which is written in 7 stanzas, and many more. I think it has been a concrete way for poets, novelists, play-wrights, etc. to further illustrate the significance of their themes.