Marcus Aurelius and non-tragic living

Author: Wolf, Edita
Source document: Graeco-Latina Brunensia. 2015, vol. 20, iss. 2, pp. [189]-198
  • ISSN
    1803-7402 (print)
    2336-4424 (online)
Type: Article
License: Not specified license
The focus of the article is the recurring appeal in Marcus Aurelius' Meditations to live nontragically. This appeal presents an original usage of the theatrical metaphor for life rooted in stoicism. The usage is based on the opposition of proper (oikeios) and alien (xenos) which can be understood within the framework of the Stoic theory of appropriation (oikeiosis) and particularly the Chrysippean differentiation between appropriation and alienation (DL VII, 85). An alienated person, carried away by passions and surprised by events, is perceived as alienated from nature, an actor of life's tragedy. On the contrary, the one who acts rightly is presented as an actor of non-tragic theatre who at the same time unifies themself with the universal cause and nature and distances themself from passions and usual roles distributed in life.
  • This article was written in the framework of the project "Marcus Aurelius and imperial Stoicism in the contemporary Classical studies" realized by Faculty of Arts of Charles University in Prague financed by the Specific higher education research for 2014.
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