Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Classical ConstructionsPapers in Memory of Don Fowler, Classicist and Epicurean$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

S. J. Heyworth

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199218035

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199218035.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 14 August 2020

Life as Play, Life as a Play: Montaigne and the Epicureans

Life as Play, Life as a Play: Montaigne and the Epicureans

(p.18) 2 Life as Play, Life as a Play: Montaigne and the Epicureans
Classical Constructions

Phillip Mitsis (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter begins with a passage from Montaigne’s Essays and the use that it makes of Lucretius, and concentrates on is its image of life as a play. It is interested in the way that the passage gives voice to a deeper set of conceptual tensions that can be found in our thinking about death generally — tensions, for instance, between our expectations for complete lives and the suspicion that any such plans are likely to prove illusory, or tensions between the idea that we can self-consciously pattern our lives and experience into satisfying wholes and the contrary worry that such patterning is little more than wilful self-delusion. At the same time, laying aside this conceptual dimension, one can hardly fail to notice how utterly literary our deaths become in Montaigne’s hands. Even if we come to agree with Lucretius that death may unmask us at any time as we are play-acting, such an agreement still remains couched in terms that are relentlessly literary: for example, taking on a role, unmasking, and playing a final scene.

Keywords:   plays, life, Montaigne, Epicureans, death

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .