Plutarch's Letter to His Wife

Length: 4 Pages 920 Words

Plutarch is a loving, caring, and compassionate human being even though it may not seem obvious after one first reads his Consolation to His Wife, which talks about the death of his daughter Timoxena. He is a philosopher and as such is preaching his beliefs in this letter, however not to his wife even though it was supposedly written for her. He states many times throughout the letter (obviously not in the same way) that he does not have to "worry" about his wife having "...incontinence in her soul," which further proves the point that the letter was in fact intended for another audience besides his wife. Why? Because time and time again he says things about the nature of grief and sickness of the heart and tells the reader, ostensibly his wife, how it is not good to grieve. Yet Plutarch also points out that his wife needs no reminder or help in knowing how to deal with such events. Why then write a letter to his wife explaining how she should act at a time like this if it is in fact unnecessary? so as to inform those who do not already know. For example Plutarch is talking about how "silly women" come over to the house of the grief stricken for whatever the reason may be, and "fan and whet the grief" of the person "and prev Continue...


Then after telling his wife all these things he says to her, "Against such a contingency I know you will be on guard. "When people see a friend's house aflame they extinguish it with all possible speed and strength, but when souls are ablaze they only add to the kindling. " Plutarch, after relating Aesop's short story, then goes to talk about how once you let "Grief " in, it never quite leaves if at all. and it will bring us a greater quantity and variety of joy than of sorrow. " According to Plutarch grief is unnecessary and one can be sure very unwanted, and those who believe it is necessary to grieve for what is lost or damaged are foolish. so besieged and hard pressed by grief. the two years of her life that intervened must by no means be effaced from our memory but rather reckoned as a pleasure, for they afforded us with delight and happiness. " Perhaps one believes that since his daughter has just died that he should have written with more compassion and, even more so, grief than this pretentious tone of his. True the essay may seem slightly cold and distant on the outside, but if one were to read between the lines then the reader will notice that in fact he does love and miss his daughter deeply but will not " be afflicted with grief on her account. " He then wrote to his wife, "I know the good fight you lately fought when you supported Theon's sister and resisted women who were charging in with wails and shrieks, simply to pile fire upon fire.