Old Age in Shakespeare

William Shakespeare, 1 Henry VI (1589-90; rev. 1594-95):

  Tal.  O young John Talbot, I did send for thee
To tutor thee in strategems of war,
That Talbot’s name might be in thee reviv’d,
When sapless age and weak unable limbs
Should bring thy father to his drooping chair. (4.5.1-5)

William Shakespeare, Sonnets (1593-1609):

To me, fair friend, you never can be old,
For as you were when first your eye I eyed,
Such seems your beauty still. (104.1-3)

William Shakespeare, The Rape of Lucrece (1593-94):

Priam, why art thou old and yet not wise? (1550)

William Shakespeare, Love's Labours Lost (1594-95; rev. 1597):

  [Ber.]  Beauty doth varnish age, as if new-born,
And gives the crutch the cradle's infancy. (4.3.240-41)

William Shakespeare, King John (1594-96):

  Sal.  O, he is old and blushes not at death. (4.3.76)

William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice (1596-97):

  [Gra.]  Why should a man, whose blood is warm within,
Sit like his grandsire cut in alabaster? (1.1.83-84)

William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing (1598-99):

  [Dog.]  As they say, ‘When the age is in, the wit is out.’ (3.5.33-34)

William Shakespeare, Henry V (1599):

  [K. Hen.]  In faith, Kate, the elder I wax, the better I shall appear. My comfort is, that old age, tat ill layer-up of beauty, can do no more spoil upon my face. (5.2.228-31)

William Shakespeare, As You Like It (1599):

  [Jaq.]  Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans every thing. (2.7.163-66)

William Shakespeare, Hamlet (1600-01):

  [Ham.]  The satirical rogue says here that old men have grey beards; that their faces are wrinkled; their eyes purging thick amber and plum-tree gum; and that they have a plentiful lack of wit, together with most weak hams; all of which, sir, though I most powerfully and potently believe, yet I hold it not honesty to have it thus set down. (2.2.196-202)

William Shakespeare, All's Well That Ends Well (1602-03):

  [Par.]  Virginity, like an old courtier, wears her cap out of fashion, richly suited, but unsuitable. (1.1.156-57)

William Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida (1601-03):

  [Ulyss.]  Beauty, wit,
High birth, vigor of bone, desert in service,
Love, friendship, charity, are subjects all
To envious and calumniating time.
One touch of nature makes the whole world kin. (3.3171-75)

William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure (1604):

  [Duke.]  When thou art old and rich,
Thou hast neither heat, affection, limb, nor beauty,
To make thy riches pleasant. (3.1.36-38)

William Shakespeare, King Lear (1605):

  [Gon.]  Old fools are babes again, and must be us'd
With checks as flatteries, when they are seen abus'd. (1.319-20)

  [Gon.]  As you are old and reverend, should be wise. (1.4.240)

  Reg.  O, sir, you are old,
Nature in you stands on the very verge
Of his confine. You should be rul'd, and led
By some discretion that discerns your state
Better than you yourself. (2.4.147-50)

  [Lear.]  Here I stand your slave,
A poor, infirm, weak, and despis’d old man. (3.2.19-20)

William Shakespeare, Macbeth (1606):

  [Macb.]  That which should accompany old age,
As honour, love, obedience, troops of friends,
I must not look to have. (5.3.24-26)

William Shakespeare, Timon of Athens (1607-08):

  [Tim.]  Son of sixteen,
Pluck the lined crutch from thy old limping sire,
With it beat out his brains. (4.1.13-15)