The Consolation of Philosophy

The Right Kind of Hope: Lady Philosophy and Her Importance to Beothius College

In The Consolation of Philosophy, the main character and author of the work, Boethius, faces the hardest time in his life when he is imprisoned and sentenced to death. Boethius is mourning the loss of his privileges, influence, and freedom, and seeks consolation from Lady Philosophy, whom he envisions he is having a philosophical discussion with. Lady Philosophy attempts to help Boethius remember his higher purpose in life by encouraging him to lead with reason and logic rather than his passions. Throughout the novel Boethius utilizes Lady Philosophy’s presence as an opportunity to ask existential and moral questions to help him grasp the role of higher powers such as Fortune, Providence, and God in human life. By the end of his conversation with Lady Philosophy, Boethius recognizes that leading with his passions rather than with reason is the root to his personal suffering and is what has prevented him from understanding why Divine foreknowledge and human freedom’s coexistence is needed in human life.

At the beginning of the text, Boethius thinks that Divine foreknowledge and free will are contradictory and he does not think both can exist at the same time. In Book V, Boethius explains his confusion about these two concepts to...

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