Big Fish Eat Little Fish

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Big fish eat little fish

” A comment on the hierarchical man-eat-man (or fish-eat-fish) world of human society”.  (i)

“Small organizations or insignificant people tend to be swallowed up or destroyed by those that are greater and more powerful … The proverb was first recorded in a text dating from before 1200. In Shakespeare’s play Pericles (2:1), the following exchange occurs between two fishermen: “‘Master, I marvel how the fishes live in the sea.’ ‘Why, as men do a-land—the great ones eat up the little ones.'”(ii)

 

Source:
(i) http://introtowestern.blogspot.co.za/2014/10/bruegels-big-fish-eat-little-fish.html
(ii) http://english.stackexchange.com/questions/262390/what-is-the-proverb-of-big-fish-eats-small-fish

Image source:
http://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/338694

Artist: Pieter van der Heyden (Netherlandish, ca. 1525–1569)
Artist: Pieter Bruegel the Elder (Netherlandish, Breda (?) ca. 1525–1569 Brussels)
Publisher: Hieronymus Cock (Netherlandish, Antwerp ca. 1510–1570 Antwerp)
Date: 1557
Medium: Engraving; first state of four
Dimensions: 9 x 11 5/8 in. (22.9 x 29.6 cm)
Classification: Prints
Credit Line: Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1917
Accession Number: 17.3.859

References:
Netherlandish Proverbs
http://www.visual-arts-cork.com/famous-paintings/netherlandish-proverbs.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Netherlandish_Proverbs

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