A little king and a great fool

An early 20th century German play highlights the twin identity playing out in each of us.  Ah, if we were but wise enough to see it.  

Und doch nenn ich sofort euch zwei Gestalten

Die unbotmäßig in euch allen walten:

Ein kleiner König und ein grosser Tor.

And yet I name you two shapes immediately

Which reign supreme in every one of you:

A little king and a great fool.

Source: Frank Wedekind, Prologue, King Nicolo, or Such is Life / König Nicolo, oder So is das Leben (1901), in Frank Wedekind: Dramen, I, ed. by Manfred Hahn (Berlin: Aufbau-Verlag, 1969), 1.523.

See also Hector Maclean, `The King and the Fool in Wedekind’s König Nicolo’, Seminar, 5:2 (1969), pp. 21-35.

Photo credit: found on Pinterest but no source given

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