The Consolation of Philosophy

The Consolation of Philosophy Character List


The character in this dialogue who speaks to Philosophy. He is a condemned man waiting in prison for his execution, and is bemoaning the loss of his fortune, influence, and freedom. A patrician Roman of the gens Anicii, he has been a high official under the Ostrogoth Emperor Theodoric. Through a series of apparent misunderstandings and professional jealousy, Boethius has been condemned for political reasons. Boethius wrote his dialogue in the last months of his life.

Lady Philosophy

The vision, or allegory, with whom Boethius speaks in his philosophical dialogue. She represents in human form the whole of true Philosophy, an idea of objective reality separate from the human race. She is immortal and spiritual as well as corporeal, and represents all the human thought in Philosophy up to Boethius's lifetime. She counsels and consoles Boethius, and teaches him the true consolation that pure philosophical inquiry can give.


A former consul and highly respected Roman - Boethius's father-in-law.

The Muses of Poetry

The female spirits that, in Greek and Roman mythology, were supposed to look after poets and inspire poetic genius. They are attending Boethius as he writes despairing poetry when Lady Philosophy first visits him.


The Ostrogoth Emperor of Rome during Boethius's lifetime. He recognized Boethius's talents and raised made him a high imperial official. Later, as Theodoric succumbed to the scheming and paranoia so rampant at this time in the Roman Empire, he condemned Boethius on what appear to have been spurious charges.


Daughter of Symmachus; wife of Boethius.

Lady Fortune

An allegorical representation of the caprices of good and evil which happen to human beings seemingly without warning.