Intimacy, Interdependence, and Interiority in the Old English Prose Boethius

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Abstract

This article explores voice in the prose (B Text) version of the Old English Boethius. It argues that the Old English Boethius transforms the Socratic dialogue of its main Latin source, Boethius’s De consolatione philosophiae, into an interdependent dialogue focused on the inner life. This transformation of the Old English Boethius fits into two categories: first, the initial split of voices that refocuses the first two-thirds of the text on Boethius’s mod; and second, the expansion of direct address to the audience by Wisdom. The Old English Boethius can, therefore, be read as a distinctly Anglo-Saxon philosophical pursuit, where the path to God is through the development of interdependent relationships.

Keywords

Boethius Old English prose Interiority Medieval philosophy Anglo-Saxon 

Notes

Acknowledgements

I would like to thank Malcolm Godden, Susan Irvine, Francis Leneghan, Winfried Rudolf, Daniel Thomas, Hannah Bailey, Stefany Wragg, and Helen Appleton for their helpful comments in the development of this paper.

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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.English DepartmentUniversity of Hawai‘i at MānoaHonoluluUSA

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