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09 May 2010 @ 05:32 pm
Thought that just crystallized, even though I think I had the inchoate form of it before:

O, reason not the need: our basest beggars
Are in the poorest thing superfluous:
Allow not nature more than nature needs,
Man's life's as cheap as beast's...
(King Lear)

That is totally Fraser's hat, in "Hawk and a Handsaw." And that's why they can threaten him with taking it away: it's the one thing more than need that he has, the one thing that allows him selfhood and dignity. (Or at least it would be, if he were really a patient, rather than playing along.)