The Ages of Man is a collection of four short plays: Infancy, Childhood, Youth andRivers Under The Earth. Inspired by Shakespeare’s famous monologue about the ages of life, Wilder set out to write seven short plays chronicling the human journey from infancy through extreme old age. The first two pieces, Infancy and Childhood, are delightful comedies which have been widely produced. However, Wilder never published the remaining plays of his series. After his death in 1973, two additional plays intended for this cycle, Youth and The Rivers Under the Earth (a play believed to represent middle age), were found among the playwright’s unfinished papers.