In Ray Bradbury's novel Fahrenheit 451, why is Sir Philip Sidney's quote important?
The quote is important because Beatty knows that Montag is guilty and he is telling him he knows.
Beatty is quoting because he knows that Montag is guilty of stealing and reading books, and he is slowly building a case against him. He does it paradoxically, by quoting authors that no one in the society is allowed to read! The quotes at the poker game are Beatty's way of showing Montag that he is on to him.
The context of this quote is when Faber is communicating with Montag through the Seashell radios. Montag is sitting in card game with Beatty and some of the other men at the firehouse, and he feels guilty and nervous because he has stolen a book.
In Beatty's sight, Montag felt the guilt of his hands. His fingers were like ferrets that had done some evil and now never rested, always stirred and picked and hid in pockets, moving from under Beatty's alcohol-flame stare. (Part II)
Beatty, the paradoxical fire captain, continuously quotes at Montag. Montag is nervous enough, even...
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