“Pale death knocks with impartial foot at poor mens hovels and kings palaces” — Horace
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In this quote, Horace is observing that death is impartial or fair to all people, regardless of their social status or wealth. He notes that death knocks on the doors of both “poor mens hovels” (humble homes of the poor) as well as “kings palaces” (opulent homes of royalty and those in power).
Horace’s point is that death does not discriminate – it comes to rich and poor, powerful and powerless alike. There is equality in death, as it affects all human lives no matter one’s position in society or level of material possessions.
The quote conveys Horace’s view that death is a great equalizer that reminds people of their shared mortality regardless of other worldly differences.