“Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more: it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”
This Shakespearean line from Macbeth is a good measurement of how to examine our existence. This line may signify to some that life, is fact, meaningless, but I see it a different way: Each human being is on this earth to make their own mark in one way or another, either good or bad, and then those people die and life goes on. Life is a stage for our best and worst qualities and the bright lights that are on us at all times, whether we think they are or not.In the context of the play, these words were spoken following the death of Lady Macbeth. Macbeth is quite horrified at the thought of losing his wife that he claims his life is now insignificant, but we all know that’s not true. He is just thinking more with his heart and not his head.
In regards to Shakespearean times, a ‘walking shadow’ and ‘poor player’ pertain to actors who were understudies and could not crack that starting role. Maybe life is what we make of it, but not everyone in this life will be the star of the play on a grandiose level. There are stars and there are poor players, if you will. Sometimes we don’t get to decide.