Although Jaques’s “Seven Ages of Man” usually are characterized in teleological terms, the cynical lord outlines a “strange eventful history” (AYL 2.7.164) whose ending is the same as its beginning.1 There may be seven ages, but there are only six states of being, because childishness is said to mark both the beginning and end of the human journey. Jaques’s generic man falls backwards from maturity through his own puberty (“his big manly voice,/ Turning again toward childish treble” [2.7.161-2]), into “second childishness” (2.7.165), and finally into a second infancy characterized as “mere oblivion,/ Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans every thing” (2.7.165-6). Hardly an improvement over a first infancy of “Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms” (2.7.144), the final stage evokes an image of the very old as utterly dependent, even grotesque beings.