This is the line of a song in Shakespeare’s play “As You like It”. It contains a universal truth. Philosophers of all ages and all lands have tried to understand the mystery of man’s existence in this world.
They have come out with various plausible and implausible theories. While their theories can be debated upon, accepted or rejected according to people’s respective inclinations, Shakespeare’s simple maxim does not call for any discussion or questioning. This world is indeed like a stage. So many good and bad events take place in the world. The stage is also meant for enacting different kinds of drama.
Actors and actresses come on the stage, play their roles and leave. Similarly men and women come in this world, perform their actions and depart. The roles of actors and actresses are written beforehand and the director tells them how to play these roles. The lives and fates of men and women are also pre-determined. God is their director. Man cannot act against fate which rules people.
Everything is predestined and pre-ordained. Human life is a drama, sometimes good, sometimes bad and sometimes in different. Comic, tragic, melodramatic and farcical incidents happen in life continuously. Hardy’s novels illustrate the power of fate better in life continuously. Hardy’s novels illustrate the power of fate better than anything else. But Hardy’s characters are full of strength and vigour. They do not teach us to be passive. As an actor can raise his role to unimaginable heights by his histrionic talent, man can also make his life noble, exalted and sublime.