In Robert Graves' novel, _I Claudius_, Claudius' mother, Antonia Tertia, executes her own daughter, Livilla (by locking her in a room to starve), as punishment for having poisoned her husband, then prepares to commit suicide. When Claudius tries to dissuade her, she retorts (I paraphrase), "I was born into a world of human beings, now I live in a world of animals." I was in my early twenties when I first read the Claudius novels, and I thought Antonia's reaction histrionic and over the top. I no longer think that; I know exactly how she felt.
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