Shakespeare and Ageing: Conference Paper 2016







Paper presented at the Shakespeare 400 International Conference, an interdisciplinary conference organized by The Centre for Shakespeare Studies at Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University and the Rustaveli National Theatre

Tbilisi State University, Tbilisi, Georgia, 22-24 September, 2016



The biology of ageing, and specifically the field of gerontology, has become increasingly focused on retaining youth than on embracing maturity. Shakespearean scholars tend to emphasize the bard’s negative connotations of ‘old’ people and his grim prognosis of their mental and physical capabilities, often quoting ‘when the age is in, the wit is out’ (Much Ado About Nothing: Act 3, Scene 5) and ‘as with age his body uglier grows’ (The Tempest: Act 4, Scene 1).

This paper shows Shakespeare‘s wit was not out, as he aged, by taking a time continuum of his works – and presenting it graphically. Given that Shakespeare died at the age of 52 and the average life span at the time was about 35 years of age (mainly due to the plague and other diseases), this paper questions: how old is ‘old’ in the 17th century? Specifically, this paper investigates Shakespeare’s mental, physical, and social references to ageing. Social references include the examination of relationships by contextualising the language – who is the speaker in relation to the aged person, and what is the age difference between them? This paper also examines gender differences in Shakespeare’s plays to determine the comparisons between ‘old women’ and ‘old men’ in terms of language and context. The implication is that gerontology in Shakespeare is socially contextualised by age difference, social status, and social expectations, as well as being gender-referenced. In conclusion, this paper brings young blood to an old theme.



What is old age? When is someone old – at what age? Shakespeare (1564-1616) died at the age of 52 years in a time when the average life span was 35-38 years of age, predominantly due to the bubonic plague, pneumonia, childbirth, limited medical knowledge and treatment, and poor nutrition.[1] If Shakespeare was regarded as ‘old’ then how old were his characters? At what age did Shakespeare regard his character as old, and how did he portray ‘old age’?

First let’s look at the chronology of Shakespeare’s plays.[2] From Figure 1, Shakespeare was productive until his death, with his most productive years between the ages of 30-34. Although the rate of completion of plays decreased with age, many would argue that the quality did not. For example, from 45-49 years of age Shakespeare completed The Tempest, The Winter’s Tale, Henry VIII, and Cymbeline.




Shakespeare includes many ‘old’ characters in his plays – or other characters describe them as old, such as Lear in King Lear; Polonius in Hamlet; Montague and Capulet in Romeo and Juliet; Leonato and Antonio in Much Ado About Nothing; Duncan in Macbeth; Adam in As You Like It; York and Old John of Gaunt in Richard II; Gloucester in Henry VI; the Duchess of York in Richard III, and Cleopatra in Antony and Cleopatra (Pyre 2011).

Previous scholars have noted Shakespeare’s descriptions of his aged characters. The descriptions are not flattering, depicting aged people with silver hair (in Julius Caesar, Act 2, Scene 1), no teeth, hollow eyes, weak bones, and diminishing intelligence. Some examples include the following (in chronological order):


Talbot says to his son John Talbot in the English camp near Bordeaux:

When sapless age and weak unable limbs

Should bring thy father to his drooping chair.

Henry VI, Part 1 (Act 4, Scene 5) – Shakespeare is 28


Antonio says to Portia, Shylock, Nerissa, Bassanio, and Gratiano:

To view with hollow eye and wrinkled brow

An age of poverty.

The Merchant of Venice (Act 4, Scene 1) – Shakespeare is 33


Benedict says to Beatrice:

A man loves the meat

in his youth that he cannot endure in his age.

Much Ado About Nothing (Act 2, Scene 3) – Shakespeare is 35


Dogberry says to Leonato and Verges:

A good old man, sir.

They will be talking.

As they say,

when the age is in, the wit is out.

Much Ado About Nothing (Act 3, Scene 5) – Shakespeare is 35


Jacques describing the stages of life (old age is the seventh and last stage):[3]

Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

As You Like It (Act 2, Scene 7) – Shakespeare is 36


Kent says to Cornwall, Regan, Gloucester, and Oswald:

Sir, I am too old to learn.

King Lear (Act 2, Scene 2) – Shakespeare is 42


Prospero says to himself about Caliban:

And as with age his body uglier grows,

So his mind cankers.

The Tempest (Act 4, Scene 1) – Shakespeare is 48


Psychologist Dean Keith Simonton (2009), from the University of California, conducted a study of the impact of age on creativity, using Shakespeare’s plays. Simonton analyzed Shakespeare’s stylistic changes in his characters’ speeches, investigating the use of (1) archaic versus colloquial words, and (2) the deviation from standard rules of poetic meter and speech endings. Using these two variables, Simonton could predict, within a year or two, when each of Shakespeare’s plays were written. He concluded that Shakespeare became more liberated from conventional form and linguistically more creative as he aged (Krauss Whitbourne 2014).

At 35 years of age, Shakespeare’s poem, A Madrigal (1599), clearly delineates the comparisons between youth and age, such as ‘Youth is nimble, Age is lame; Youth is hot and bold, Age is weak and cold; Youth is wild, and Age is tame:- Age I do abhor thee; Youth, I do adore thee.’ Yet even in this poem, Shakespeare states ‘my Love is young! Age, I do defy thee.’ It’s comforting to know that love, at any age, is young.

When Shakespeare was 36 he noted that ‘from hour to hour we ripe and ripe, and then from hour to hour we rot and rot’ (As You Like It, Act 2, Scene 5). However, the Shakespeare play that mentions the word ‘old’ more often than any other is King Lear, when Shakespeare was 40 years old. Lear says of himself, ‘I am a very foolish fond old man’ (Act 4, Scene 7) when he banished Cordelia, one of his three daughters (and the one who truly loved him), from his kingdom. But it was not age that made him foolish. It was extreme narcissism when his daughter refused to flatter him. One theory is that Shakespeare was facing his own declining age when he wrote King Lear, because he was already older than the average life expectancy of people in Elizabethan England (Krauss Whitbourne 2014).

After King Lear he wrote Macbeth, which was equally pessimistic about the ‘creeping’ onset of old age: ‘in this petty pace from day to day … a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing’ (Macbeth, Act 5, Scene 5).



Not all descriptions of the aged are disparaging. In The Merchant of Venice, written when Shakespeare was 33, Gratiano, the friend of Antonio and Bassanio, and the man who loves to party, says:


Let me play the fool.

With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come.

And let my liver rather heat with wine

Than my heart cool with mortifying groans.

The Merchant of Venice (Act 1, Scene 1)


In Much Ado About Nothing when Shakespeare was 35, Dogberry says to the watchman ‘Why, you speak like an ancient and most quiet watchman’ (Act 3, Scene 3). The tone of the word ‘ancient’ is not of an old, doddery man. It means, in this context, experienced.

The old man, Adam, in As You Like It, when Shakespeare was 36, learns that Oliver intends to kill Orlando. Adam wants to give Orlando his life savings and suggests that they flee to the Forest of Arden for safety, even though it is full of dangerous animals. Adam says to Orlando:


All this I give you. Let me be your servant.

Though I look old, yet I am strong and lusty,

For in my youth I never did apply

Hot and rebellious liquors in my blood

Nor did not with unbashful forehead woo

The means of weakness and debility.

Therefore my age is as a lusty winter,

Frosty but kindly. Let me go with you.

I’ll do the service of a younger man

In all your business and necessities.

As You Like It (Act 2, Scene 3)


In other words, Adam is saying to Orlando: In my youth I didn’t do drugs, drink alcohol, or smoke, and although I look old I can do anything a young person can do, and better, plus I have the experience to help you and to be your servant, so employ me. Does Orlando accept Adam’s offer. Yes! Orlando says:


O good old man, how well in thee appears

The constant service of the antique world,

When service sweat for duty, not for meed.

Thou art not for the fashion of these times,

Where none will sweat but for promotion,

And having that do choke their service up

Even with the having. It is not so with thee.

But, poor old man, thou prun’st a rotten tree

That cannot so much as a blossom yield

In lieu of all thy pains and husbandry.

But come thy ways. We’ll go along together,

And ere we have thy youthful wages spent,

We’ll light upon some settled low content.

As You Like It (Act 2, Scene 3)


Orlando is saying that Adam is a fine example of the work ethic where duty comes before wages, which ‘these days’ is not the fashion. However, Orlando says that he too is ‘old’ but they will travel together and try to find a way to make a living.



Shakespeare’s characters range from 13-80 years of age, with a few exceptions. For example, Antigonus says to Leontes in The Winter’s Tale, ‘I have three daughters; the eldest is eleven, the second and third, nine, and some five’ (Act 2, Scene 1) – but the children are merely mentioned, without a major role. The exact 13-80 age range is mentioned in Timon of Athens by the fool, when he speaks to Apemantus. In the text, a score is twenty years, so fourscore is 80:


A fool in good clothes, and something like thee.

… and, generally, in all

shapes that man goes up and down in from fourscore

to thirteen, this spirit walks in.

Varro’s servant thou art not altogether a fool.

Timon of Athens (Act 2, Scene 2)


It is rare for Shakespeare to define the age of his characters in numbers. However, there are a few specific references to the exact age of a person. Readers, for example, know that Juliet is not yet 14 years of age, as her father, Capulet, talks to Paris, who wants to marry her, in Romeo and Juliet, stating that she is too young to be married and to have children:



My child is yet a stranger in the world;

She hath not seen the change of fourteen years,

Let two more summers wither in their pride,

Ere we may think her ripe to be a bride.


Younger than she are happy mothers made.

Romeo and Juliet (Act 1, Scene 2)


Lafeu in All’s Well That Ends Well says, ‘I am a youth of fourteen’ (Act 2, Scene 3). Falstaff in The First Part of King Henry IV is looking for a horse – or someone young enough, such as a 22-year-old, to steal one:



I have procured thee, Jack, a charge of foot.


I would it had been of horse. Where shall I find

one that can steal well? O for a fine thief, of the

age of two and twenty or thereabouts!

King Henry the Fourth, Part 1 (Act 3, Scene 2)


Troilus in Troilus and Cressida didn’t make 23 years of age, as Pandarus says to Cressida ‘O admirable youth! he ne’er saw three and twenty’ (Act 1, Scene 2). In Antony and Cleopatra, when Antony weds Octavia, the curious Cleopatra asks the messenger to describe Octavia’s appearance and to guess her age. The conversation between Cleopatra, her maid Charmian, and the messenger is as follows:



Didst thou behold Octavia?


Ay, dread queen.


Is she as tall as me?


She is not, madam.


Didst hear her speak? is she shrill-tongued or low?


Madam, I heard her speak; she is low-voiced.


That’s not so good: he cannot like her long.


Like her! O Isis! ’tis impossible.


I think so, Charmian: dull of tongue, and dwarfish!

What majesty is in her gait? Remember,

If e’er thou look’dst on majesty.


She creeps:

Her motion and her station are as one;

She shows a body rather than a life,

A statue than a breather.


Guess at her years, I prithee.



She was a widow,–


Widow! Charmian, hark.


And I do think she’s thirty.

Antony and Cleopatra (Act 3, Scene 3)


In Cleopatra’s estimation, Octavia is short and stupid. She tells Charmian that Mark Antony will surely return to her. Here, it is not that Octavia actually is stupid at thirty, only that Cleopatra is showing her jealousy.

Aemelia, who is the Lady Abbess in The Comedy of Errors, says ‘thirty-three years have I’ (Act 5, Scene 1). Two men, Borachio and Conrade, in Much Ado About Nothing discuss the fickleness of fashion. Borachio says that men between 14-35 change their appearance rapidly to fit the current trends:


Seest thou not, I say, what a deformed thief this

fashion is? how giddily a’ turns about all the hot

bloods between fourteen and five-and-thirty?

Much Ado About Nothing (Act 3, Scene 3)


Conrade responds that ‘fashion wears out more apparel than the man.’ In other words, fashion is a passing fad at their age. He says Borachio is giddily talking about fashion too, so he’s no different from the ‘hot bloods’ – which Borachio quickly denies and brags that earlier in the night he seduced Margaret.

Oxford reminds Warwick in The Third Part of King Henry VI that Warwick has obeyed the king for 36 years: ‘Why, Warwick, canst though speak against thy liege, Whom thou obeyed’st thirty and six years (Act 3, Scene 3). Readers also know that Thomas Mowbray in The Life and Death of Richard II is 40 years old, when he says to King Richard II, after the king has banished him from England for the rest of his life, ‘The language I have learn’d these forty years, my native English, now I must forego’ (Act 1, Scene 3). These examples of the specific age of a character place them in context with the historical or social setting.

As a characters’s specific age becomes closer to fifty and beyond, Shakespeare often has them reminiscing about their youth, making comparisons with others (especially those younger than them), or justifying their existence in terms of employment.

In King Lear, Kent is seeking to work for the king.



How old art thou?


Not so young, sir, to love a woman for singing, nor

so old to dote on her for any thing: I have years

on my back forty eight.

King Lear (Act 1, Scene 4)


At 48, Kent is not young enough to chase a woman, but he is not old and desperate either. When King Lear asks what he can do, Kent answers that he can be discreet in honorable matters, ride a horse, run, tell a good story badly, and deliver a plain message bluntly. He says he’s good at everything that an ordinary man can do, and adds that he is hard-working. Does he get the job? Yes! King Lear says, ‘Follow me; thou shalt serve me: if I like thee no worse after dinner, I will not part from thee yet.’

Capulet in Romeo and Juliet reminisces about the time when he was young, dancing at masquerade balls, as he talks with his cousin. He thinks the last time they went dancing was 25 years ago, but his cousin says it must be 30 years ago, hence time is rapidly passing and/or Capulet doesn’t feel as old as he actually is:



Nay, sit, nay, sit, good cousin Capulet;

For you and I are past our dancing days:

How long is’t now since last yourself and I

Were in a mask?


By’r lady[4], thirty years.


What, man! ’tis not so much, ’tis not so much:

‘Tis since the nuptials of Lucentio,

Come pentecost as quickly as it will,

Some five and twenty years; and then we mask’d.


‘Tis more, ’tis more, his son is elder, sir;

His son is thirty.

Romeo and Juliet (Act 1, Scene 5)


Capulet and his cousin are therefore approaching 50 years of age or thereabouts. This reminiscing scene comes at a time when Paris wants to marry his fourteen-year-old daughter. Claudio in Much Ado About Nothing is smitten with Leonato’s beautiful daughter, Hero, and thinks about marrying her. He asks his frriend Benedick what he thinks of her. Benedick is an aristocratic soldier who is constantly joking and vowing never to marry. He jokes to Claudio, ‘Shall I never see a bachelor of three-score again?’ (Act 1, Scene 1) meaning that there aren’t many 60-year-old bachelor’s left.

If we use the example above of Adam in As You Like It, who has just convinced Orlando to accept him as his servant – and Orlando agreed – Orlando has said he is old too. So Orlando is old, and Adam is older, but how old is Adam? After Orlanda agrees to employ him, Adam reveals his age:


Master, go on, and I will follow thee

To the last gasp, with truth and loyalty.

From seventeen years till now almost fourscore

Here lived I, but now live here no more.

At seventeen years, many their fortunes seek,

But at fourscore, it is too late a week.

Yet fortune cannot recompense me better

Than to die well, and not my master’s debtor.

As You Like It (Act 2, Scene 3)


Adam is almost fourscore years, so Adam is almost 80 years old. As he says, many men seek their fortune at 17, but at 80 it’s a bit late for him to make lots of money, but at least he can do the job of a servant as well as any younger man can.



Did Shakespeare treat aged men and women differently? What was his view of ageing women? One example is in Henry VIII. King Henry VIII was married to Catherine of Aragon for more than 20 years when he met Anne Bullen (Boleyn). Henry thinks his marriage may have been illegal all these years (he is looking for an excuse to divorce). Cardinal Wolsey advised Henry that his marriage to Catherine could be annulled. In the streets of London, three aristocratic men, Norfolk, Suffolk, and Chamberlain, discuss the reason why Henry would want to divorce Catherine – they suspect another woman is involved.


Norfolk says to Suffolk and Chamberlain:

How holily he works in all his business! …

He counsels a divorce; a loss of her

That, like a jewel, has hung twenty years

About his neck, yet never lost her lustre;

Of her that loves him with that excellence

That angels love good men with; even of her

That, when the greatest stroke of fortune falls,

Will bless the king: and is not this course pious?

Henry VIII (Act 2, Scene 2)


Norfolk says Catherine ‘has hung twenty years around his [King Henry ‘s] neck’ like a jewelled necklace – in other words, married for 20 years. Norfolk speaks respectfully of her, her beauty, her love for her husband, and her loyalty. Do his companions agree? Yes they do! Lord Chamberlain agrees with Norfolk, and hopes that King Henry will realize Cardinal Wolsey’s deceit. Even Catherine’s enemy, Thomas Cromwell, thought highly of her, as he is reputed to have said, ‘If not for her sex, she could have defied all the heroes of History’ (Vives, 1533).

If we examine the description of the Duchess of York, the mother of Edward IV, Clarence, and Richard in Richard III, great sorrow is shown in her life. She has witnessed the violent deaths of her husband and two sons, and she must live with the fact that she gave birth to the monstrous Richard – for which she suffers incredible shame. Yet when Richard asks for her blessing, she gives it, not because she is scared of him, but because she hopes that God can reform him. She is ‘old’ and we feel great sympathy for her, and she is depicted as wise and honorable.

The Duchess of Gloucester in Richard II is the widow of Thomas of Woodstock, the Duke of Gloucester. She has one brief scene in which she tries to convince her brother-in-law, Old John of Gaunt, to kill her husband’s murderer. He refuses because the killer is King Richard. For her, family ties are more important than loyalty to the monarch, but for him (and many men) the king is the utmost priority. But who can the Duchess of Gloucester go to for justice when the head of the country is corrupt? Old John says she must wait for God to punish Richard. She is ‘old’ but she clearly addresses Old John’s cowardice, the double standards in behaviour between commoners and nobility, and how a king should be a role model for society (here ‘mean’ is the word for common man’): ‘That which in mean men we intitle patience, is pale cold cowardice in noble breasts (Act 1, Scene 2).

Both duchesses are described as ‘old’ and wise.

In Antony and Cleopatra, Cleopatra is getting older. Young Octavius Caesar sees old Mark Antony enjoying himself in Egypt during a time of crisis, and thinks that he has abandoned his responsibilities as a statesman. Cleopatra complains to her maid, Charmian, that she misses Antony, just as Alexis enters with a pearl – a gift from Antony that he has kissed as a token of his love. Antony and Caesar meet. One of Caesar’s men suggests that Antony marry Caesar’s sister, Octavia, to cement their bond. Antony agrees. Enobarbus, another of Caesar’s men, talks to Agrippa about this marriage, comparing Cleopatra to Venus the goddess of love. He says Antony will never stop loving Cleopatra even if he marries Octavia. Enobarbus says to Agrippa:


Never. He will not.

Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale

Her infinite variety. Other women cloy

The appetites they feed, but she makes hungry

Where most she satisfies, for vilest things

Become themselves in her, that the holy priests

Bless her when she is riggish.

Antony and Cleopatra (Act 2, Scene 1)


Enobarbus is clear that her age will not fault her beauty, and her charms are so varied that she is never boring. Other women become less appealing the more a person knows them, but not Cleopatra – she makes a person desire her the more they see her. Even her worst faults are charming, and priests bless her even if she is lustful.

Therefore Shakespeare respects the beauty and wisdom of a women, even as they age.

But how old are Catherine of Aragon, Cleopatra, and the duchesses – the Duchess of Gloucester and the Duchess of York?

The Duchess of Gloucester is the wife of Thomas of Woodstock, the first Duke of Gloucester. In Shakespeare’s play the Duchess of Gloucester foretells her own death as she loses her train of thought and contradicts herself: ‘Lo this is all – nay, yet depart not so; Though this be all, do not so quickly go; I shall remember more. (Act 1, Scene 2). On the stage, Mary Morris played the Duchess of Gloucester in David Giles 1978 BBC television version of Richard II as part of The Shakespeare Plays. Mary Morris was 63 years old (Kehler 2006). The Duchess of Gloucester is also described as an early example of ‘old age full of sorrows and bitter memories (Pyre 2011). However, in reality, the Duchess of Gloucester was Lady Eleanor de Bohun. She was born in 1366 and died on 3 October 1399. Therefore she was 33 years old.

As mentioned above, Cleopatra’s rival, Octavia, is about 30 years old in Antony and Cleopatra (Act 3, Scene 3), but Cleopatra’s age is not given specifically in Shakespeare’s play. Historically, Cleopatra was born in 69 BC and died in 30 BC, making her 39 years old.

Again, in Henry VIII, the age of Catherine of Aragon, Henry’s first wife, is not mentioned. The real Catherine of Aragon was born on 16 December 1485. She married Henry in 1509 at the age of 24. The annulment of their marriage in 1533 means that Catherine was 48 years old.

The Duchess of York in Richard III reveals her age in Shakespeare’s play:


DUCHESS OF YORK to Queen Elizabeth:

Go thou to sanctuary, and good thoughts possess thee!

I to my grave, where peace and rest lie with me!

Eighty odd years of sorrow have I seen,

And each hour’s joy wrecked with a week of teen.

Richard III (Act 4, Scene 1)


The Duchess of York says she is ‘eighty odd years.’ The real Duchess of York was Cecily Neville, born in 1415. She died on 31 May 1495 at the age of 80. This makes her marginally older than Adam of As You Like It – and the oldest character I can verify in Shakespeare’s plays. Hence these women, from 33 to 80, are examples where women receive no worse treatment from Shakespeare than men of that age – they are treated with reverence, respect, and acknowledgement of their capabilities.



Shakespeare’s age range of his main characters are between thirteen and eighty – of all types and sizes and backgrounds and abilities. Overall, Shakespeare is fairly balanced in his commentary and descriptions of ageing – just as it would be in Elizabethan society. In Macbeth, written when he was 42, Macbeth philosophically says to Seyton: ‘And that which should accompany old age, As honour, love, obedience, troops of friends …’ This is a statement of acceptance of age, with no fear and no disgust.

In Shakespeare’s plays there is no limit to the capabilities – the wit and wisdom – of his aged characters: they may not dance in public (as Capulet says in Romeo and Juliet), but they can offer sound advice, be loyal to their loved ones, ride a horse, run, laugh, and seek employment as they offer their services to king and country. Hence, when the age is in, the wit might still be in too!

I will leave this paper with lines from Cleopatra’s maid, Charmian, in Antony and Cleopatra, as she seeks a prediction from a fortune teller:


Good now, some excellent fortune! Let me be married

to three kings in a forenoon, and widow them all:

let me have a child at fifty, to whom Herod of Jewry

may do homage: find me to marry me with Octavius

Caesar, and companion me with my mistress.


You shall outlive the lady whom you serve.


O excellent! I love long life better than figs.

Antony and Cleopatra (Act 1, Scene 2)





Chambers, E.K. (1930), William Shakespeare: A Study of Facts and Problems, Vol. 1, Oxford: Clarendon, pp 270-271.

Cutler, David M., Deaton, Angus S., & Lleras-Muney, Adriana (2006), The Determinants of Mortality, Journal of Economic Perspectives, paper by The National Bureau of Economic Research, Working Paper No. 11963.

Kehler, Dorothea Faith (2006), Shakespeare’s Widows of a Certain Age: Celibacy and Economics, San Diego State University, in Modern Humanities Research Association, MHRA Working Papers in the Humanities, I, pp 17-30,

Krauss Whitbourne, Susan (20 July 2014), Great Shakespeare Quotes that Inspire Us to Age Creatively, In ‘Fulfillment at Any Age’, Psychology Today, (Website access 23 May 2016).

Lambert, Tim (2015), A Brief History of Life Expectancy in Britain, (Website accessed March 2016).

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, (1993) The Complete Works of William Shakespeare,

Pyre, J. F. (20 August 2011), Shakespeare’s Pathos, In ‘Shakespeare Studies’, Madison: University of Wisconsin, 1916. Shakespeare Online, (Website accessed 20 March 2016).

Simonton, Dean Keith (2009), The literary genius of William Shakespeare: Empirical studies of his dramatic and poetic creativity, in S. Kaufman, J.C. Kaufman (eds.) The psychology of creative writing, New York, NY., Cambridge University Press.

Vives, Juan Luis (1533) The Education of Christian Women (De institutione Feminae Christianae), edited by Constantinus Matheeussen & Charles Fantazzi, (Website accessed 28 March 2016).

World Life Expectancy (no date), (Website accessed on 23 May 2016).



[1] Tim Lambert (2015), A Brief History of Life Expectancy in Britain. The life expectancy in 2016 across Europe is 70-83 years of age; Georgian’s life expectancy is 74 years of age,

[2] E.K. Chambers (1930)

[3] Sans is the French word for ‘without’

[4] By’r lady means ‘I swear’