Presentation on theme: "The Tale of Melibee. Categories developed by Plato, made famous by Aristotle and formalized by Cicero Cicero, De inventione “Virtue may be defined as."— Presentation transcript:
Categories developed by Plato, made famous by Aristotle and formalized by Cicero Cicero, De inventione “Virtue may be defined as a habit of mind (animi) in harmony with reason and the order of nature. It has four parts: wisdom (prudentiam), justice, courage, temperance.” Key attributes of anyone who would rule others, or learn to rule himself or herself. “Cardinal” is from cardo, hinge or fulcrum. Basis of “rational” behavior Brought over into Christian (and Jewish, and Islamic) tradition Wisdom of Solomon 8:7: “ She [Wisdom] teaches temperance, and prudence, and justice, and fortitude, which are such things as men can have nothing more profitable in life.” In Christian tradition, joined to the “theological” virtues (faith, hope and charity), and understood as part of the basis of any well-governed Christian life. Everyone in late medieval England was meant to know what the cardinal virtues were and why they were important
Here the four virtues are already four sisters. Prudence carries a book, the book of experience; Justice, carries scales; Temperance carries a whip; Fortitude carries a spear and shield. They are women because Prudentia, Fortitudo, Temperantia, and Justitia are all feminine in Latin
Usually in medieval thought, the Virtues are imagined as fighting against the Vices The Cardinal Virtues are more often seen as a means of moderating the Passions. Aristotle again: 6 concupiscible passions: love and hate, desire and aversion, joy and sorrow 5 irascible passions: hope and despair, confidence and fear, and anger The Cardinal Virtues help find the middle place between these pairs of contrary passions. Sometimes they help to suppress the passions, especially anger and desire
Prudence is the oldest of the four sisters With her three eyes she sees past, present, future Her role is thus to consider sources, situations, and consequences Because sources can include “being made by God,” and consequences can include “being an eternal soul destined for reward of punishment,” Prudence is aligned with the Christian virtues and enforces Christian behavior However, she can also be considered in relation purely to worldly events. In this case, consequences can become “what I can get away with.” Self-interest can be defined in different ways
Fragment 1 The Miller's Tale, The Reeve's Tale, The Cook's Tale Fragment 2 The Man of Law’s Tale Fragment 3 The Wife of Bath's Tale, The Friar's Tale, The Summoner's Tale Fragment 6 The Physician's Tale, The Pardoner's Tale Fragment 7 The Shipman's Tale, The Prioress's Tale, Sir Thopas' Tale, **The Tale of Melibee** The Monk's Tale, The Nun's Priest's Tale
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