Demosthenes And Cicero (Comparison)

Plutarch's Comparison of Demosthenes and Cicero is a short essay in which he compares and contrasts the lives and careers of two famous orators: Demosthenes (c. 384–322 BC) of Athens and Cicero (c. 106–43 BC) of Rome.

Plutarch begins by noting that both Demosthenes and Cicero were born into wealthy families. However, Demosthenes's father died when he was young, and he was forced to work as a scribe to support himself. Cicero, on the other hand, had a more privileged upbringing. He received a classical education and studied law.

Both Demosthenes and Cicero were also gifted public speakers. Demosthenes was known for his forceful and passionate oratory. Cicero was known for his eloquence and his mastery of the Latin language.

However, Demosthenes and Cicero also had their weaknesses. Demosthenes was known for his anxiety and his lack of self-confidence. Cicero was known for his vanity and his love of luxury.

In the end, Demosthenes and Cicero both met with tragic ends. Demosthenes committed suicide after Athens was defeated by the Macedonians. Cicero was assassinated by order of Mark Antony.

Plutarch concludes his essay by noting that Demosthenes and Cicero were both complex and contradictory figures. They were both brilliant orators, but they were also flawed individuals who made mistakes. Their lives are a cautionary tale about the dangers of power and ambition.

Here is a table comparing and contrasting Demosthenes and Cicero:

Family backgroundWealthy, but lost father at a young ageWealthy
EducationStudied lawStudied classics and law
Oratory styleForceful and passionateEloquent and polished
WeaknessesAnxiety, lack of self-confidenceVanity, love of luxury
FateCommitted suicideAssassinated

Plutarch's Comparison of Demosthenes and Cicero is a thought-provoking and insightful essay that explores the lives and careers of two of the most famous orators in ancient history. It is a valuable source of information for anyone interested in learning more about the ancient world.

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