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Dumb Beasts and Dead PhilosophersHumanity and the Humane in Ancient Philosophy and Literature$
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Catherine Osborne

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199282067

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199282067.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 17 October 2019

On the Vice of Sentimentality: Androcles and the Lion and Some Extraordinary Adventures in the Desert Fathers

On the Vice of Sentimentality: Androcles and the Lion and Some Extraordinary Adventures in the Desert Fathers

Chapter:
(p.135) 6 On the Vice of Sentimentality: Androcles and the Lion and Some Extraordinary Adventures in the Desert Fathers
Source:
Dumb Beasts and Dead Philosophers
Author(s):

Catherine Osborne (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199282067.003.0006

This chapter investigates the notion of sentimentality and the vice of excessive sentimental attachment. It reviews a number of fables from the classical tradition and from the stories of the desert fathers, to explore the limits of realism and sentimentality and to consider what purpose is served by such fabulous tales in which the beasts are portrayed as more intelligent and morally superior to the human subjects. It suggests that the tales are designed to engineer a change in moral outlook on the part of the readers, and to open their eyes to the moral corruption of human society, and to present an image of heaven (an ideal society in which human corruption is absent).

Keywords:   fables, desert father, monks, hermits, lions, realism, classical tradition

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