"For many years I looked at life like a case at law. It was a series of proofs. When you're young you prove how brave you are, or smart; then, what a good lover; then, a good father; finally, how wise, or powerful or [whatever.] And we all do that, right?
But underlying it all, I see now, there was a presumption. That one moved . . . on an upward path toward some elevation, where . . . God knows that . . . I would be justified, or even condemned. A verdict anyway. I think now that my disaster really began when I looked up one day . . . and the bench was empty. No judge in sight. And all that remained was the endless argument with oneself, this pointless litigation of existence before an empty bench. . . Which, of course, is another way of saying - despair."
— Arthur Miller, After the Fall