The Nature of Fortune
“There are good ships, and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea. But the best ships are friendships, and may they always be.” This is the very same philosophy that one of the main characters, Lady Philosophy, in The Consolation of Philosophy argues. The protagonist takes the form of Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius, who is also the author. In fact, the setting and events throughout the story pertain to himself, in the real world, as well as to the protagonist. But it seems that in Book II, Lady Philosophy has taken up the task of “diagnosing” Boethius, and trying to help him come to terms with what has happened to him. Her work is not to simply cheer up Boethius, but mainly to make him understand that his current state is not actually a bad one. In fact, he might just be better off now, than he was before. Of course, this means that she must prove to Boethius that due to his loss of fortune, he can be happier. Of course, happiness is not perfectly defined, and it seems that Lady Philosophy may actually be wrong.
In chapter 8, the last chapter of book II, seems to take a different approach on helping Boethius understand why he ought not be in such a state of depression. She starts out by showing him that the gifts of fortune are not gifts, but rather loans, and he shouldn’t grieve over things that he knew he must give back. But Boethius does not find this answer satisfying, because he believes that it is better to have never been happy, than to be happy and have it taken away from you. But Lady Philosophy seems to change her argument, and instead of telling Boethius to strictly avoid the gifts of Fortune, she actually says that there are instances in which Fortune can be a kind lady, and can actually help. Boethius believes that it is better to avoid being happy, so you don’t have to understand the pain of having it taken away. But Lady Philosophy believes that the happiness you receive from fortune is a false one. It...
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