The Gerontologist, Vol 32, Issue 6 733-738, Copyright © 1992 by The Gerontological Society of America
"To everything there is a season": some Shakespearean models of normal and anomalous aging
Southern Illinois University, Carbondale 62901-4503.
Shakespeare perceived aging characters as falling broadly into two
categories: normal and anomalous. The former age in conformity to societal
expectations, often displaying an inability to affect the outcome of
events; the latter (e.g., Lear and Falstaff), deviating from these
behavioral norms, dominate the action of their respective plays. Falstaff,
a prime example of the anomalous ager, suffers rejection by King Henry V,
his former boon companion, a consequence of ageism.