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The Passing of the Year

The Passing of the Year

by Robert Service

The Stage of Time

Symbol Analysis

If the Old Year is an actor, the stage he is standing on is the "Stage of Time." You see the metaphor? The moments of time (like a year) roll past us like actors on a stage.

  • Line 9: You might have noticed that Service highlights the major characters and images in this poem by capitalizing them. So, when we see that this is the "Stage of Time," we know to pay attention! With this line, the speaker is kicking off the big extended metaphor that takes up most of the poem, comparing the changing of the year to the curtain call at a theater. We think there might also be an allusion here, to Shakespeare's famous lines from As You Like It: "All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players." It's a pretty old cliché (older even than Shakespeare), but we think Service puts a fun twist on it.

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