I haven’t read Jane Austen’s original version of Emma since college, but judging from its latest incarnation, a title that better suits it is Much Ado About Nothing. By now, after so many treatments of the source, everyone must know that Emma is a privileged young woman who fancies herself a do-gooder, particularly vis a vis her friendship with Harriet Smith, a young woman missing everything Emma has - wealth, lineage, social standing and personality. Unfortunately, that last quality is not in evidence in either the screenplay or bland performance by Anya Taylor Joy. But, even if it were, it’s hard to see what the two women would ever have in common except the endless flattery of Emma herself.
The quote was originally a response to Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.’s request to Emerson to critique the paper he was writing about Plato for the course he was taking as a Harvard undergraduate Emerson, obviously concerned about the loose ends Holmes had left in the paper, gave the young student some strong metaphoric advice: Plato was the king and though Holmes had struck him, he had not successfully completed his arguments against him.