Can I replace "bow before" with "bow to"? Which sounds more natural out of these two?
Answer from a Native speaker
Yes, there isn't a major difference in meaning between the two. It's just that "bow before me" sounds more formal and old-fashioned, and "bow to me" sounds more casual. Based on the language used by the speaker ("if so" instead of the more casual "if that's the case"), the formal tone here is intentional. However, "to" is more likely commonly used in casual conversation. Ex: Bow to me. I brought your favorite snacks today. Ex: The dignitaries all bowed before the emperor.