Literature Study GuidesThe Consolation Of Philosophy

The Consolation of Philosophy | Study Guide


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Year Written

c. 524




Nonfiction, Philosophy, Religion

At a Glance

Living just after the fall of Rome, the philosopher and statesman Boethius set out to organize, translate, and interpret the writings of great Greek thinkers who had come before. His project was cut short when he fell out of favor with the king of Italy and was jailed for treason. However, during his imprisonment, Boethius composed a final philosophical work. Despite its brevity, this work came to be regarded as his crowning achievement. Hence The Consolation of Philosophy offers a glimpse of Boethius's thinking on such topics as fate, divine providence, chance, and the virtuous life. In Western culture the works of Boethius have often been regarded as the essential link between classical and medieval thought. The Consolation of Philosophy epitomizes a worldview that continued to shape philosophy and literature for over a millennium after its author's death.

About the Title

In The Consolation of Philosophy Boethius narrates his attempt to find happiness and tranquility while imprisoned and facing execution. His description of a visit from Philosophy, who is personified as a woman, is an allegory that helps him put his suffering into perspective.


This study guide for Boethius's The Consolation of Philosophy offers summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs.

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