Then are our beggars bodies, and our monarchs and outstretched heroes the beggar’s shadows.

Ah, so because it is heroes and monarchs who are ambitious and if ambition is a shadow’s shadow, then, the ambitious shadow the unambitious. Is that the logic here? It’s funny. I’ve heard this line a million times but this is the first time I’ve tried to think it through.

Is every monarch ambitious? Don’t some of them just fall into the role by virtue of being born? But it’s interesting that Hamlet, a man who’s known some kings, should think it a necessary ingredient.


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