Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Consolation et psychologie dans la Consolation à Polybe de Sénèque

François Prost


Senecas Consolation to Polybius illustrate how the philosophical argument cannot be set apart from a twin rhetorical constraint, not only that of the consolation proper, but also that of Senecas plea to the addressee for his own recall: hence the necessity of not discarding grief as pointless in both situation, the addressees mourning, and the exiles suffering. Moreover, the structure of the argument also reflect Senecas intention to take into account the various aspects of Polybius personality, along the lines of Panetius psychological theory. Yet unity is maintained mostly thanks to the pervasive use of a cosmic metaphor, which sets both writer and addressee as elements a universal network divinely ruled by the emperor. But the ultimate failure of Senecas rhetoric may be found in his thus crudely exposing Polybius dependance on his masters whim and his absolute lack of real freedom.

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