The comedy we call life

“Tell me, have you not seen some comedy in which kings, emperors, pontiffs, knights, ladies, and numerous other characters are introduced? One plays a ruffian, another the cheat, this one a merchant and that one a soldier, while yet another is the fool who is not so foolish as he appears, and still another the one of whom love has made a fool. Yet when the play is over and they have taken off their players’ garments, all the actors are once more equal.”

“Yes,” replied Sancho, “I have seen all that.”

“Well,” continued Don Quixote, “the same thing happens in the comedy that we call life, where some play the part of emperors, others that of pontiffs – in short, all the characters that a dream may have – but when it is all over, that is to say, when life is done, death takes from each the garb that differentiates him, and all at last are equal in the grave.”

“It is a fine comparison,” Sancho admitted, “though not so new but that I have heard it many times before. It reminds me of that other one, about the game of chess. So long as the game lasts, each piece has its special qualities, but when it is over they are all mixed and jumbled together and put in a bag, which is to the chess pieces what the grave is to life.”

The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote de La Mancha
Part II, Chapter XII

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