How we cite our quotes:
You would arrest me then; that would be a good beginning. Perhaps the rest would be taken care of subsequently; I would be decapitated, for instance, and I’d have no more fear of death; I’d be saved. Above the gathered crowd, you would hold up my still warm head, so that they could recognize themselves in it and I could again dominate – an exemplar. All would be consummated; I should have brought to a close, unseen and unknown, my career as a false prophet crying in the wilderness and refusing to come forth (6.28).
This is a far cry from Jean-Baptiste’s earlier desire for immortality. It’s not that he wants immortality, it’s that he doesn’t want to die. These are actually different things. Death is not a solution to wanting immortality. But death is a solution to not wanting to die, because once you’re dead, you can’t fear it anymore – as Jean-Baptiste so charmingly points out.