Fame In Boethius The Consolation Of Philosophy

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Boethius examines different factors that prompt people to desire fame throughout The Consolation of Philosophy. The passage selected focuses on fame, which is aimed towards providing a realistic view of the disadvantages of celebrity. Although the common fear of human insignificance can drive people to chase after fame and focus on the finite, greater happiness will be found in this life and the next when they transcend what is worldly and look to everlasting life.
Preceding the passage, Boethius establishes the mortality of human nature by using the example that any man can die of a bite from a tiny fly (dCP2m7). This dialogue establishes that all people die, no matter their stature or wealth, bridging the way for one to conclude that the
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Loss of rationality exists because the man has already glorified himself by submitting to the idea that this earth, as opposed to heaven, is his only home and he desires to be known by others. People forget that their true treasure lies in heaven and that anything accomplished on the earth is fruitless. Philosophy effectively agrees with the idea of fruitlessness by questioning why men think that fame can lengthen life by “mortal famousness” (dCP2pr7). Expanding upon the trappings of fame, Philosophy declares that “if the mind stays conscious when it is freed from the earthly prison and seeks out heaven in freedom, surely it will despise every earthly affair” (dCP2m7). She begs her readers to understand that they are worth so much more in God’s eyes and that they do not have to waste their lives pursuing hollow fame. All are mortal, and when one loses sight of his rational nature and attempts to live a life centered around gaining the approval of others, he is essentially exalting himself above God on the earth and surpassing the boundaries of mortality. The practice of constantly seeking approval leaves the man emptier than before any
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